Debbie Millman explores why design matters in an upcoming new book

For 18 years, writer, designer, and brand consultant Debbie Millman has been interviewing the biggest names in the creative industry for her hugely popular and respected podcast Design Matters. Now, in her upcoming book Why Design Matters, the best conversations from the series are collected together to inspire and educate readers.

If you’re at all plugged into the creative world, then the name Debbie Millman will likely need little introduction. Since 2005 she has been the host of Design Matters, a podcast where she talks to leading figures in the creative industry to learn what makes them tick and how they’ve forged a career in this sometimes turbulent vocation. With her personable presenting style and enlightening conversations, it’s no surprise that the podcast has become a hit with creatives from all walks of life.

Published by Harper Collins, Why Design Matters: Conversations with the World’s Most Creative People is a curated anthology of the award-winning podcast. Described as a “salon in book form”, the collection features text from Millman’s conversations with the world’s most creative minds, thought leaders, and intellectuals. Debbie herself introduces the book, which is a visually stunning feast that promises to be both revealing and enlightening.

And given that there are nearly 500 episodes of the Design Matters podcast to choose from, this book promises to be the crème de la crème of creative insight. Speaking about what she’s learnt through interviewing people since 2005, she says, “I’ve discovered that the arc of a creative life is a circuitous one, and I am endlessly fascinated by how people become who they are and how the decisions they make throughout their lives impact their work.”

Featuring nearly 60 of the best interviews, Why Design Matters represents a variety of disciplines grouped together into five disciplines, namely: Legends, Truth Tellers, Culture Makers, Trendsetters, and Visionaries. Headline interviewees include Milton Glaser, Paula Scher, Steven Heller, Oliver Jeffers and Alan de Botton, to name but a few.

Part of the secret of Millman’s podcast success is her gift for interviewing people in unexpected and open-hearted ways. This often elicits surprising responses that go beyond surface-level observations, which is like a manor from heaven for creatives looking to learn from their heroes.

As Maria Popova, a Bulgarian writer and the subject of page 296, points out: “I have witnessed person after person leave her studio aglow with the ecstatic relief of feeling what we all ultimately wish to feel: deeply understood and appreciated, a little bit more in touch with ourselves beyond our selves, reminded of who and what we are in the hull of our being.”

From her introduction, Millman adds: “Here we are, a decade and a half into a grand experiment. This book represents a body of work, a love letter to creativity, a testament to the power of curiosity.” Scheduled for release on 22 February, Why Design Matters is available to pre-order now for $60.

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