January 31, 2022

Side of Design Year One: The Highlight Reel

A colored map graphically showing a summary of the number and percentage of Buzzsprout listens for BWBR's Side of Design podcast in 2021.

Side of Design_Buzzsprout_2021 Summary Map

Twenty episodes. One year. That’s a lot of content.

We’ve been incredibly privileged to have so many guests willing to be generous with their time and insights, and we packed everything we could into the first season of Side of Design.

We didn’t exactly know what we were taking on when we started. We had high hopes, but the past year has exceeded all of them. We were able to have in-depth conversations about everything from fire code to equitable design, and research practices to design for mental health care.

In case you didn’t catch all 20 episodes, you’re in luck. For episode 21, Matt Gerstner (technical producer for the podcast) and Jarett Anderson (project manager and architect at BWBR) sat down to reflect on a year’s worth of content – listen in, or check out the highlights below.

Our Top Three Podcast Episodes of 2021

With so many great stories, Matt and Jarett had a hard time picking their top episodes. And yet, three episodes had a lasting impact. In no particular order, here are Matt and Jarett’s top three episodes of season one:

Episode 20: The Power of Infinite Thinking: 100 years of BWBR

BWBR then and now

Matt and Jarett loved that, during this episode talking about the firm’s past and future, there was a dog barking in the background. “It’s very emblematic of where we are today,” says Jarett, “there was a quick moment of a pause but then it just moved right on.” The moment ended up perfectly complementing the discussion between outgoing CEO Pete Smith and incoming CEO Stephanie McDaniel about the importance of authenticity when taking on a leadership role and prioritizing the firm’s culture and people (even when their dogs are barking!) while still championing design excellence.

Click here to visit the 100 years podcast summary.

Episode 17: Equitable Design Insights from BWBR’s Inaugural Scholarship Winners

2021 BWBR Scholarship Blog Feature Image

“Equity is a theme we’ve been exploring for years here at BWBR,” says Jarett. “There’s always room for improvement from any one of us, and that episode comes to mind when I think about the lenses we’re looking through.” Matt notes that it was “such a wonderful episode to record, because we got to speak with people who are newer to the field. It’s so much less about imposing your idea of what design should be, and rather just listening – really listening – and seeing what’s going to fit.”

Click here to visit the Scholarships podcast summary.

Episode 18: Emergency Mental Health Services: The EmPATH model

The main gathering space and nurse station in the EmPATH unit, with color changing lights in the ceiling.

In this episode, the client came on to share their experience seeking an improved space for people needing support for mental health issues. The innovative result freed up beds and created an intentional space to enhance the patient experience and support healing. Says Jarett, “[That project is] something that really showcased what moving the needle is like for the client, freeing up beds and improving patient outcomes, and how the space can inform and support the practice that in turn can affect the patient.”

Click here to visit the EmPATH model podcast summary.

Of course, there are many more episodes to explore. You can go back and listen to any of them, any time on our website. Perhaps you’re interested in Human-Centered Safety® and seeing mental health through a different lens. If so, don’t miss episode 3. Fascinated by issues of sustainability in design? Check out episode 6 and episode 7. Want to hear about fire safety and performance-based egress solutions? Episode 11 is right up your alley. Focused on inclusive design? Listen to episode 19.

We’re grateful for all the support we had in season one. We shared a lot of knowledge, raised a lot of questions, and had a lot of laughs. Season two is coming your way soon, so get ready for more exciting design insights on Side of Design!

Related Perspectives