E020 A Year of Design Lota

It’s been year since we started this podcast. We’re fondly calling it a Lota-versary! While most of our episodes are recorded remotely, we met and had a quick chat about how we started, what we learnt and some of our favourite episodes.

Listen to the episode here:


The video for this episode:




We talk about Design Podcasts & other resources we like and learnt from:

Design Matters by Debbie Millman

The Nudge podcast

Honest Designers podcast

Creative Mornings

High Resolution podcast

seanwes podcast

Design Life podcast

Hurry Slowly podcast


Angie: Hi, this is Design Lota – the podcast where we talk about life as Indian Designers.

Sushi: I’m sushi

Angie: And I’m Angie

Sushi: So, we’ve made it to a year with this podcast! Happy Lotaversary!

Angie: This is a good opportunity to look back and ponder about why on earth we are doing this!

Sushi: Haha that’s a good question. Reminds me of our first episode “why are you a designer?”

Angie: It started out as an aha moment in the shower. I had been listening to a couple of

really great design podcasts, and they all had some really big designers from around

the world telling us how we can be better designers. I had started to question if

everything spoken of in these podcasts were absolutes, or if they were contextually

relevant to a country such as India. And I was thinking, maybe we need such a podcast.

And then it struck me that we could actually be that podcast.

Sushi: Angie texted me randomly, I think soon after her shower, (haha!), saying “ hey

Sushi, I just had a crazy idea. Do you want do a design podcast? And I said “Sure, why

not!” It wasn’t unil much later that I realised what she had got me into! But Angie always

sounds so convincing…you probably understand if you’ve been listening to us for a


Angie: I still remember recording our first episode on “why did you become a designer”?

We were both really nervous and ended up doing about 4 retakes, before we managed

to sound confident enough. We released this first episode, on September 6, our official


Sushi: So 19 episodes later, we’ve progressed quite a bit, we probably sound less

terrified…what do you think, Angie?

Angie: We were quite lost in the beginning

Sushi: Sometimes we still are…

Angie: But I think it was came down to figuring out the right tools, and the process that

made our releases smoother. This is something we do on the side, but you’d be

surprised how much we nerd out over each episode, with midnight meetings or groggy

sunrise recordings.

Sushi: You know what they say, the night is always darkest before dawn.

Angie: Sushi always manages to sneak in her lame jokes somehow.

Sushi: Jokes aside, we’ve definitely learned a lot just from the discussions we’ve had

with each other, as well as the interviews. Every episode gave me the chance to learn

about the topic, and we always ended up asking the people we interviewed, what we

wanted to know.

Angie: I like how we were able to address some of the less glamorous sides to being a

designer. That’s what I like about podcasts I can relate to, where they share their real

struggles and experiences.

Sushi: In this day and’

age when it’s easy to put photogenic filters on our work, we only see the

well finished end product of our fellow designers, but we don’t know why WE have to

sweat it out and look like zombies at the end of a project.

Angie: It’s hard to put filters on zombies.

Sushi: hmm…

Angie: I think it’s because presentation is so important, especially to the design community, and we tend to put a lot of effort into it.

Sushi: It’s definitely important, but not at the cost of diminishing what the project is really about.

In our case, remember, when we first started out, we would make an illustrated graphic to go with each episode. While this was fun, it was also time-consuming, and it became an added pressure in our release process. Letting go of this style, and embracing a more minimal look helped us focus on the actual content of each episode.

Angie: I find it interesting that being from different design backgrounds – you from industrial design and me from UX/Interaction Design – design decisions are fundamentally same – in the sense of the trade-offs that need to be made based on the context.

Sushi: That was another conversation we intended to have using this podcast – talking to

designers from different fields and finding the common threads and also understanding the

delightful variations in their design processes. There’s always something we can take away and

fit it into our own design process.

Angie: So true. Sushi, what were some of your favourite episodes so far?

Sushi: I really enjoyed doing what we might call the really raw ones, like the one about ambiguity, and the one on feedback. I actually learned a lot from all our interviews, and my personal favourite was the episode about typography and history with Vaishnavi.

Angie: I liked getting into the journalist mode – asking questions and nudging the guests to give us a peek into their work process. The interview with Karan on Industrial design was eye-opening to me because tangible products are not something I deal with on a daily basis. Also the episodes that make me uncomfortable are what help me grow the most – sustainability, comfort zone and Martijn’s interview on portfolios was a much needed kick in the butt!

Sushi: Martijn’s interview definitely impacted the way I share my work in progress, and I’ve now made a habit of regularly updating my portfolio without obsessing over the finished product.

Angie: Whether with portfolios, or podcasting, I think the skill that’s helpful is storytelling.

Sushi: That’s true. Every designer is a work in progress. So I’m glad we’ve found a way to tell their stories.

Angie: Hey listeners, what kind of stories do you want to hear in the upcoming episodes? Tweet to us, or let us know on Facebook or instagram.

Sushi: Thank you to those who suggested interview guests for our future episodes. We’re working on luring them in 😉

Angie: We are putting up a list of our favourite design podcasts

Sushi: But please don’t ditch us!

Angie: and also the transcript for this episode at You can also go back and listen to episodes you might have missed – all in one place!

Sushi: Thank you for listening and supporting us this far! We’ll be back in a fortnight with yet another design story

Sushi: Until then, bye!


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