Podcasts that I guest host and my personal podcast, Tea With Teresa, are posted here for your listening pleasure. Please enjoy and share.
An interview with Mark Rothman, Executive Director, Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust
Show length: 29 minutes
The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust is the oldest such museum in the United States. Established in 1961 by a group of Holocaust survivors, the museum lost its home in 1994 due to an earthquake. For years, the organization moved its exhibit around, and in 2010, it established a permanent home in Pan Pacific Park.
In this podcast, I interview Mark Rothman, Executive Director at the museum, about the creative process of designing this new building. He explains how they chose to deliver this challenging content, their curatorial philosophy, and how visitors are engaging with the rich technology that drives their visit. He also addresses the challenges of exhibiting content in a way that does not subvert emotional connection, but personalizes and makes relevant this tragic part of our past.
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Getting to Know the World through a Stranger
When I made my way to Costa Rica for the first time, I wanted to get under its skin to get a sense of what life is really like there. So, I tapped into an international network of people who open their homes to travelers called Couch Surfing. I figured if I stayed with a local who really knew the culture, I’d have a far more rich experience than a tour book could bring. In this podcast, I share that first couch surfing experience with you through conversations with Dan Hoffer, one of the founders of CouchSurfing.com and Brenda Burnside, my couch surfing host. Along the way, you’ll see how this experience profoundly altered my perspective about how to explore new places…
Journey Into A World Without Sight
An interview with Dialogue in the Dark Creative Director John Zaller and Tour Guide Gloria Fisher
Show Length: 20 minutes
In this podcast, I’ll take you with me on a journey into a world of darkness where people use their hands, hearing and sense of smell to discover where they are. We’ll explore an immersive exhibition called Dialogue in the Dark, were blind guides help visitors move through multiple environments, experiencing the world without sight. Creative Director John Zaller and exhibition guide Gloria Fisher talk about the mission behind this experience and the profound impact it has upon visitors. While exhibition environments have been carefully crafted, the physical space is not the focus of the experience; it simply provides a frame for interpersonal connection. Join me on this adventure into darkness; your perspective about sight will never be the same.
Tips & Tricks to Help Creativity Flourish
An interview with Scott Berkun, author and public speaker
Show Length: 20 minutes
In 1956 a documentary called The Mystery of Picasso was released, showing two hours of Pablo Picasso doing what he did best: making paintings. This film gave the public a first-hand glimpse directly into this infamous artist’s creative process. Public speaker and writer Scott Berkun and I got together for tea to talk about the film and our own experiences around creativity. As both managers of creative teams and creators of work ourselves, we looked at how our processes aligned with Picasso’s…or where we could learn from him. As the discussion unfolded, we came up with an interesting set of guidelines that enable creativity to flourish.
Why Mobile Phones Don’t Make Sense To Everyone
Have you ever thought about the basic knowledge you need to use a mobile phone? There are fundamental assumptions that designers make when designing mobile phones…such as literacy, an understanding of numbers, and a grasp of basic computer concepts such as menus or folders. But, what if, like millions throughout the world, you couldn’t read or you’d never seen a computer before? How might your interactions with and understanding of mobile phones be different?
Researcher Natasha Alani went to the Kutch region in rural India to explore these questions within a culture that is nomadic and highly illiterate. I had tea with Natasha to find out what she discovered out in the field…and uncovered an exciting challenge for mobile phone designers everywhere.
NOTE: After this interview, Experience Design firm Adaptive Path used Natasha’s research to take a first crack at developing mobile phone designs that are not based on common assumptions of literacy and knowledge of computers. View the designs at www.adaptivepath.com/mobileliteracy
When you think about planetariums, you probably think about craning your head way back looking up at a sea of stars spread across a dome ceiling, right? Well, something is changing in the planetarium world. With the introduction of digital projectors, planetariums are evolving into 3D spaces that are being used for much more than star-gazing. I learned about this revolution through Rachel Connolly, Director of the Rauch Planetarium at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. We had a long distance tea and she told me about all kinds of possibilities for planetarium use in the future and potential impacts upon scientists, astronomy, and education. Imagine if, while learning about molecules, you stood inside one, for example…
1 Block Off The Grid
An interview with Dave Llorens, General Manager of 1 Block Off the Grid.
Show length: 15 minutes
While solar power has a good reputation for being a clean energy, it also has a bad reputation of being expensive. Most people don’t think of it as something they can really afford to invest in. While we might want to make good environmental decisions, more often than not, our wallets win out. But, wait: before you write off solar power completely, listen to this podcast…
There is a company called 1 Block Off The Grid that is using a unique business model to make solar power significantly more affordable to you and me. To learn more about this model, I had tea with Dave Llorens, General Manager. Our conversation started with the basics of how solar power works, and why we should consider investing in it in the first place…
User experience design is, at its core, a philosophy that products and services should be designed so that they are pleasurable and easy for people to use. While that might seem an obvious design approach, it’s actually not the way many designers historically thought about making things. In fact, it wasn’t until the 1990s that an industry came together around this particular approach to design.
I did some research to try uncover the history of this field, and, I didn’t find a lot – partly because it hasn’t been around for long. So, I had tea with Peter Merholz, who has been involved in the industry since its very early stages. We had a great conversation about what it was like when the industry started to come together and where he thinks it’s headed.
(And Why Should I Care?)
Some describe it as making things easy and enjoyable to use. Others describe it as all the elements that impact someone’s perception of a product or system. Jesse James Garrett says it’s a lot like going on a great first date.
For those who haven’t heard of it before: You’ll be surprise by how much it impacts your life.
For those who know it well: Believe it or not, the complexity made simple. You’ll finally know what to say in the elevator when someone asks you what you do for a living.
An interview with Seng Chen, photographer and traceur (also knows as a parkour enthusiast)
Show length: 1 hour
In the opening of the James Bond movie Casino Royale, a man leaps from buildings and runs up walls with nothing supporting or suspending him. Those movements are not fancy movie tricks, they are part of a formal discipline called parkour. This practice began in France in the late 1900s and quickly caught on worldwide, as evidenced by a plethora of recent YouTube videos. While many resources provide information about the movements and history of parkour, few explore what might be the most important aspect of this discipline: the mental and spiritual benefits. In this podcast, Seng Chen will expose this deeper side of parkour. Afterward, I’ll take you with me as I try parkour myself for the first time, and end the podcast with a discussion about my first impressions of this intriguing practice.
How User Testing Saves The Day
Download podcast here
An interview with Todd Elliott, Project Manager at Adaptive Path
Show length: 26 minutes
We’ve all had those awful experiences like getting lost within a badly designed website (Why can’t I add another item to my shopping cart?), confusion around using a new product or device (Where in the world is the ON button?!), or losing our cool after an awful customer service experience (Did they really send me to five different people?). To avoid these kinds of conundrums, smart companies use a design technique called “user testing” to discover these issues and correct them. In this podcast, I spoke with Todd Elliott, a Project Manager from Adaptive Path, to learn how and when user testing comes into the design process — and how it can minimize the angst we all feel when confronted with a poorly designed experience.
Design Research Is A Messy Process
An Interview with Designer, Phil Robinson
Show length: 18 minutes
When companies want to understand how to design or improve the design of a product so that it works better for real people, they often turn to design research. Rooted in the study of anthropology and ethnography, design researchers use a variety of methods and techniques that help them better understand human behavior. From low-fidelity methods like collage making to more eccentric techniques like simulating a machine with the body, Phil Robinson sheds light on how researchers tailor those techniques to each research challenge.
Sorting Through 10 Years of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show”
A Podcast with Audrey Chen, Senior Information Architect at Comedy Central
Show length: 25 minutes
Architects make buildings for people. Information architects make information spaces for people. So how do you build doors, windows, and porches into information spaces? And how do you make it easy for people to find what they want in over 10,000 episodes of a daily TV show?
To find out, I had tea with Audrey Chen, Senior Information Architect at Comedy Central who recently created a searchable online archive of 10 years of “The Daily Show“. From 24 hour crews who watched and tagged every single episode, to the challenge of “future-proofing” information architecture systems so that they can grow and change over time, Audrey shared a glimpse into what it takes to organize and manage the massive influx of data in our world.