What to expect from series 4 of DESIGN POD

The fourth series of DESIGN POD, the podcast for all architecture and design enthusiasts, is about to drop eight new episodes. Bathroom brand Geberit has come onboard as the series sponsor to support each episode that will cover topics from designing in the metaverse, circadian lighting, designing in (and with) nature and more. Editor Hamish Kilburn, host of DESIGN POD, shares his thoughts on the series, which goes live next week…

Collage of series 4 of DESIGN POD

The mantra that has kept the editorial team on its toes, ever since I began my editorship almost five years ago, has been to ‘create conversations that are unlike any other’. This intention – this pledge, if you like – has ensured that our editorial focus at Hotel Designs remains on providing readers, and now listeners, with authentic content that is both educational and entertaining. DESIGN POD, which has, over three series now, become one of the most respected podcasts among the design and architecture community, was born out of that clear vision. Each episode is moulded around a special guest, with the purpose to scratch beneath the surface of that particular topic to uncover new conversations and points of view that will, we hope, continue around and beyond the arena.

Episodes in the fourth chapter of DESIGN POD, sponsored by bathroom brand Geberit, will drop bi-monthly. The series will welcome designers and architects at the top of their game to explore topics such that are helping to shape a new era in design, architecture and hospitality – think lighting, biophilic design, the social impacts of sustainability, sensory design, wellness and even the metaverse. Here’s a sneak peek on what to expect in the coming eight episodes.

The series will start with episode 27 that will explore ‘sustainability in materials’ with Richard Holland, Co-Founder and Director of Holland Harvey Architects. In addition to understanding the environmental aspect of designing consciously, Holland and I discuss the social impact of meaningful design and architect, which is the mindset that the architecture studio is built on. What’s more, in the interview we touch on how one client, Inhabit Hotels, with the same social conscience as the architecture studio, allowed Holland and his team to research new ways to preserve materials from a building and integrate them into the hotel brand’s recent renovation, using new methods following meaningful collaborations.

Episode 28 will welcome Mark Tweedale and Michael Curry, both from DPA Lighting, onto the podcast to put circadian lighting under the spotlight. At the heart of the conversation, and the topic, will be the question whether circadian lighting in design will change the game in wellness and hospitality or break the bank and become another gimmick that will continue to be stripped out at value engineering stages of projects. In the episode, with the aim to understand the qualities and opportunities around reflecting nature in lighting and design, the leading lighting designers will be pressed on the results of ongoing research around circadian lighting, to understand how the technology can be subtly introduced into future interior spaces.

Very much inspired by the episode with Tweedale and Curry, episode 29 will capture how designers can stimulate wellness. Wren Loucks, Founder of Be-Kin, will join the podcast to talk about wellness through sensory design. Following an editorial series with Hotel Designs, and contributing in Geberit’s Guest Report 2023, the conversation with Loucks will include references to her latest research, as well as an honest and compassionate look back at what inspired the designer to carve out her niche in the interior design industry that has allowed her to question, and to an extent redefine, expressions around luxury, wellness and wellbeing.

From amplifying sensory design in episode 29 to designing spaces that have no latitude or longitude, episode 30 will be all about taking the conversation around the metaverse to the extreme. Having already purchased property and designed experiences in the virtual world, Pallavi Dean, Founder of Roar, will make her debut onto the podcast with the aim to straighten out some of the misconceptions around the metaverse, and explore how a virtual world could not just work in harmony with physical hospitality but actually enhance it.

Bringing listeners back to earth – specially to the plains of Africa – episode 31 of DESIGN POD will check in to Great Plains safari camps that have been designed not just in nature, but around it. Dereck Joubert, together with his wife Beverly, were (and still are) wildlife photographers and videographers working for the likes of National Geographic when they set up their safari camps with the sole purpose to fund their wildlife conservation work and educate high-net-worth travellers and influencers on the need to protect Africa’s fragile eco system.

The episode will welcome Dereck on the podcast to explore the wild design schemes. For each camp, the couple’s approach is the same; to camp out under the stars and allow the inspiration for the design narrative to naturally appear. As well as talking about all things design, the episode also amplifies what fuels the duo’s work. There is perhaps no better example of the human-centric approach than when Beverly suffered from life-threatening injuries after being hit by a water buffalo while out exploring – Dereck, who suffered from a broken pelvis and rib fractures from fighting off the buffalo, recalls her ‘dying in his arms’ three times. When recovering in ICU, Beverly, who had became aware of the lack of opportunities among the women who were caring for her at that time, and decided to, from her hospital bed, setup a charity to support women like those who compassionately nursed her back to health.

Episode 32 will take listeners across to Toronto to meet Alessandro Munge, Founder of Studio Munge. The designer, who has helped to transform spaces, which is the theme of the episode, around the world, was my guest on the Travel By Design podcast, by Marriott, where we explored the fabrics and design story inside Muir Halifax, Autograph Collection. On DESIGN POD, my aim was to start where we left off from that meaningful episode to understand more about Munge’s approach to projects and how he has helped brands, through clever and social design, to amplify perhaps a different side of their personality.

Back in London, episode 33 will focus on net-zero and what that means in design. To remove the layers around what it takes to be a ‘net-zero design studio’, the podcast will welcome Neil Andrew, Head of Hospitality at Perkins&Will, and recent winner of The Eco Award at The Brit List Awards 2022, to explore materials, protocols and purpose-driven collaboration. The conversation will be centred around how the design, architecture and hospitality industry can more towards a future rejects products, elements and manufacturing methods that require high embodied carbon.

To conclude the series, episode 34 will have a little fun, and will explore unconventional narratives in design with special guest John Williams who is the Founder at SpaceInvader. As well as taking a look at the people and projects that have helped to define SpaceInvader as a leading interior design studio, including WILDES Chester, Tribe Hotel Malta and Oddfellows on the Park Cheadle in Manchester, the episode also throws it back to Williams’ somewhat unorthodox launch into the industry as a studio owner.

Series four of DESIGN POD, sponsored by Geberit and produced by Mel Yates, is available to listen to wherever you get your podcasts – just search ‘DESIGN POD’. Each episode, which will drop every two weeks, will be teased and available to listen to on Hotel Designs. 

Main image credit: Holland Harvey Architects, DPA Lighting, Be-Kin, Roar, Great Plains Conservation, Studio Munge, Perkins&Will, SpaceInvader.