Subscribers to Change Lab, the College’s podcast hosted by President Lorne Buchman, have come to expect deep, thoughtful conversations that offer insight into the genesis of a creative leader. These conversations are also often profoundly revealing as both host and guests explore examine how their personal experiences shape who they are.
The sixth season of the show kicked off last week with an appropriately timely and trenchant conversation with Jessica Helfand, author, academic and a true renaissance woman of the design world.
“I’ve admired Jessica Helfand for many years, and it was a complete joy to interview her for Change Lab. She offers a special blend of mind and heart, and I learned much from her deep insight and wisdom. This is a must listen,” tweeted Buchman.
Helfand is a prolific author whose latest book, Face: A Visual Odyssey, was recently featured on the “new and noteworthy” list of the New York Times. She co-founded the Design Observer, an authoritative digital publication on the state of visual culture and an oracle of wise and thoughtful discourse on design. She also co-hosts two podcasts: The Observatory and The Design of Business/The Business of Design. In all aspects of her work and writing, Helfand asks profound questions about creative practice and forces us to challenge our assumptions in several important ways.
Helfand has taught design at Yale University, her alma mater, since 1996. She currently serves as the second ever Artist in Residence at Caltech, where we recorded her teaching design to a class of engineers and scientists. Throughout this fascinating conversation, Helfand provided cogent insights into social media’s impact on the next generation of designers as well as a very moving sense of the ways in which personal experience invariably shapes creative practice.
“A great privilege to talk to someone so intellectually and emotionally generous. Podcasts hosts, take note! We should all be as gracious as Dr. Buchman,” wrote Helfand on Twitter.
Change Lab offers listeners a rare opportunity to eavesdrop on intimate conversations of accomplished, compassionate individuals who are willing to examine themselves in order to better understand how they can contribute to a better future—listen and subscribe here.