Serial—the ‘Making a Murderer’ of 2014 if you like—was the first podcast I’d ever listened to. Over the festive period of 2014, my group of friends had either heard of it, were listening to it, or had finished it and were eager to talk about it’s great ‘did he do it’ conundrum. For those who hadn’t heard it, we all waxed lyrical about it. It was borderline addictive.
Serial hands down kick-started my love for podcasts. For those of you who aren’t sure what a podcast is, it’s essentially a free radio show that you can listen to 24/7, on the go. You can subscribe to them, stream them or download them on demand, and listen at your leisure.
Spanning almost every genre and topic, there will be a podcast out there to pique everyone’s interests; from meditation, to how things work, couch to 5km series, to the latest news and culture round-ups. With reportedly over 250 thousand podcasts available via iTunes, and over 1 billion podcast subscriptions, it’s a medium that has seen a huge growth over the past few years.
Like most people, I spend a chunk of time travelling to and from work – for me this is the ideal time to listen to a podcast. Here are some of my favourites:
TED Radio Hour
If you’re familiar with TED Talks, you’ll love TED Radio Hour. It brings together ideas, approaches, problem solving and new perspectives on selected topics. Each week, the podcast features speakers discussing points under a common theme. On each listen, I feel like I’ve learnt something new; my mind was blown when I first realised that TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design!
Produced out of architecture and interiors offices in Oakland, California, 99% Invisible episodes delve into aspects of culture and life that are influenced and affected by architecture and design that we don’t necessarily think about. A bit like TED Radio Hours, I’ve learnt so much about ‘things’ that I’d never have known if it weren’t for this weekly show.
There have been two series of Serial so far, each telling the true story of a crime from all angles and people involved—from the party in question, to friends, family, witnesses and legal advisors. The way in which they tell the stories leaves you wanting to know more, and I’m waiting with baited breath for the next series!
No such thing as a fish
Brought to you by the researchers of Q.I, the team shares facts of the week. If you’re familiar with the format of Q.I, it will give you a good insight into this podcast. Lots of interesting and downright bizarre facts and stories are shared each week, so if anyone spots me walking to work and laughing, chances are I’m listing to No Such Thing as a Fish.
I stumbled on this podcast earlier this year, and I couldn’t make up my mind if I found the two presenters a bit preachy, but once I stopped thinking about it too much, I realised—I love they way they think. I hate clutter, doing things for the sake of it, and wasting my time with things I don’t see the value in. Essentially, two corporate guys changed they way they lived, through minimising all the things that cluttered their life, whether it be physical stuff or having lots on, to make time for the more important aspects of their life. I can relate with a lot of the values that they talk about, so I’ve kept on listening. A good listen for anyone who wants to change the focus of his or her days.
With so many podcast shows out there, trying to choose one to listen to can be a little overwhelming, but hopefully this list gives you somewhere to start. Send us your suggestions for ‘must listens’ – design related or otherwise!