Design Work Podcast

Interviews with trailblazing creatives who are designing their work, lives and everything in between.

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This week on Design Work, Kate chats with Katie Levy and Mike McVicar, founders of Gander. Working out of their Brooklyn studio, Gander creates brands and experiences with soul and substance. Katie and Mike cut their teeth in studios like Red Antler and with brands like Kiehl's before setting out on their own.

In this interview Katie and Mike chat about the unlikely kinship between Florida and New York, what starting a studio was really like, and how to make cool work for cool people. Plus we get the exclusive on their next studio opening on Mars.


Florida, NY Exhibition

Gander Goods



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This week on Design Work, Kate sits down with Sam Stuchbury founder and Creative Director of Motion Sickness. Motion Sickness is an independent creative agency based in Auckland, producing video and social content for brands like Les Mills, Stolen Rum and Icebreaker. Sam and Motion Sickness are picking up awards left right and centre including a spot on Forbes 30 under 30 Asia list.

In this interview Sam chats about starting Motion Sickness out of his flat in New Zealand's notorious party slash academic city, Dunedin and how they carved out a niche for Motion Sickness in New Zealand's already-dense creative industry.

Hope you enjoy it! Don't forget to send it on to someone else who would enjoy it!

Motion Sickness

The Social Club

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This week on Design Work I'm catching up with Alec Dudson, founder of Intern Magazine and lecturer at Leeds Arts University. Alec started Intern as an independent publication in 2013 to create an open, frank discussion about the state of the creative industry and young people's place in it. Intern magazine prides itself on paying all of its contributors rather than just promising exposure, a policy which can be rare for up and coming creatives.

This interview is one of the bigger ones so far, but that's because its packed full of interesting discussions. Alec chats about starting an independent publication, evolving it into a digital media house, call out culture pressuring brands and employers to hopefully to the right thing and why we need more young diverse voices in the creative industry.

Hope you enjoy it, and if you did, make sure to send it to someone else who would like it too.

Ok lets get on with it


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Boat Magazine

Pay Interns London

Pay Interns NYC

Epic Fail Article — The Crit, Intern Magazine

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This week on Design Work I'm chatting with Marc O'Brien, co-founder of The Determined — a design studio that exclusively works with organizations and companies that are aiming to reverse climate change.

Marc is a design strategist and creative facilitator who also teaches at the California College of the Arts. In this episode Marc gives us the run down on how he and his business partner sought to redesign the design studio, why climate change projects need designers involved and how you can participate in social impact projects. If you've found yourself feeling overwhelmed and helpless with recent statistics about climate change, this is a great episode for you to get inspired.

Don't forget to hit subscribe so you're getting the latest Design Work episodes, and if you know someone else who would enjoy Design Work, make sure you share it with them!

The Determined

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California College of the Arts

IPCC Report

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This week I’m chatting with Ethan Parry, a UX Researcher and Service Designer based in Barcelona. With a background in communications, Ethan made the jump into UX and Service Design. He has worked and taught workshops from Silicon Valley to Colombia, and now Barcelona.

In this interview Ethan and I chat about the importance of immersing yourself in different cultures, why you don’t need to work at a big brand company to have an impact and finding work/life balance when working for someone or for yourself.


Ethan on LinkedIn





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This week Kate chats with independent UX and Product Designer, Jenny Shen. Jenny works remotely in Amsterdam and has worked with companies like IBM, Crate & Barrel and TravelBird. She also runs the Ladies that UX Amsterdam community, mentors other designers and speaks at conferences.  In this episode Jenny fills us in on what it’s like to be a remote designer, her favourite countries to work from, running a community, creating a mentor program and digital douchebags.

Jenny Shen

Ladies That UX Amsterdam



Realtime Board


You Did Not Sleep There Instagram

Digital Douchebag Instagram

Out of Office Hours

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This week on Design Work I chat with Helen V. Holmes, designer and founder of Your Grandma Lied Studio. Helen lives in New York City and has worked with big brands like Firefox and Capital One and now has started Your Grandma Lied as a full service studio that uses a collective model. In this episode Helen talks about how learning three languages helped her learn code, what it takes to build a collective-style studio and putting to bed the age old question of should designers code.

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Your Grandma Lied Studio

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Book on color that Helen referenced: The Designer’s Dictionary of Color by Sean Adams

My Favorite Murder Podcast

Click Up


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In this episode I catch up with Natasha Vermeulen, a freelance designer and illustrator based in Auckland, New Zealand. She has worked at a number of award-winning design studios in New Zealand as well as building her own independent practice, From the Mill — a direct translation of her last name. Her illustration style is playful, bright and sometimes warped, in the best way possible. At Dovetail Xwe were lucky enough to have Nat create an illustration for one of our custom Refold cardboard desks at San Francisco Design Week in June. Plus she just did an awesome gif animation for us that appeared in our newsletter last week. I love how Nat is always willing to put her hand up for stuff and try new formats whether that be huge murals or animations. In this episode Nat chats about how she’s learnt to run a successful freelance design practice, getting comfortable with contracts and how going to gigs by yourself can make you a better freelancer.

From the Mill

Dovetail X


Designers Institute of New Zealand — Resources

Taupo Street Art Festival — Natasha Vermeulen and Kelly Spencer

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This week I speak to Deroy Peraza, founding partner and creative director at Hyperakt, a social impact studio based in Brooklyn. Hyperakt has worked with everyone from Spotify to Amnesty International all through the lens of creating meaningful design for the common good. Deroy fills us in on what it means to be a social impact agency, the influence of baseball cards on his design career and what makes a good side project.

With a decade and a half of experience designing brand identities, data visualizations, online experiences and products, Deroy is equal parts designer, entrepreneur and cheerleader. He provides creative and visionary leadership for the Hyperaktivists and is the driving force behind Hyperakt Labs, which creates opportunities for their ideas to flourish.


On the Grid city guides

Dovetail X

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This week I speak to Alisa Olinova, Design Director of verynice, a design consultancy based in LA that gives away half of their time to great causes. Verynice counts Disney, Unicef and Google as clients plus lots of amazing not-for-profits. Alisa chats to us about her journey from intern to design director at verynice, running a Women’s Design Salon event series, logos as tattoos and her favourite olympic sport.

Apply to join the verynice freelance network:

Women's Design Salon in LA, 3 October: RSVP here

MaddAddam Trilogy Books

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We’ve come charging out the gates for the first episode of Design Work. This episode I’m speaking with Nathan Cooper, the founder of CorpStudio. Based in Auckland, Nathan is taking on the ad industry with his nimble model, putting together teams of freelancers to collaborate on projects, working with brands like RedBull, Uber and Sony just to name a few. Before founding CorpStudio Nathan worked in London, New York, Stockholm and Amsterdam at the likes of R/GA, Wieden+Kennedy and Mother. He can also be found running his own radio show or making his own film.

This episode Nathan talks about what it’s like to start a business as a creative person, how he runs a full service agency with only himself and one other person on staff and why side projects are the place that creativity is really hiding.

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Interview Transcript