Debbie Millman launches a book filled with interviews from her famed podcast Design Matters

Titled Why Design Matters: Conversations with the World’s Most Creative People, the new publication spans essays, photography, quotes and nearly 60 interviews from the show.

22 February 2022

Debbie Millman – writer, designer, educator, artist and podcast connoisseur – has announced the launch of her book entitled Why Design Matters: Conversations with the World’s Most Creative People. Following the success of her award-winning podcast, Design Matters, the new publication features a collection of nearly 60 interviews from the show, plus a whopping 150,000 words from essays written by the likes of Tim Ferriss, Maria Popova, Roxane Gay and Steve Heller, as well as a host of photography and quotes.

Since its debut in 2005, Design Matters has published 500 episodes which marks it as one of the earliest and longest running podcasts going. The show navigates two themes, the first, naturally, is design, while the second answers the question posed all over its branding: “How do we create a life with purpose and meaning?” The new book follows a like-minded format as it publishes the conversations between Debbie and her guests, including inspiring talks with Marina Abramoviç, Michael Bierut, David Byrne, Alain de Botton, Maria Popova, Edel Rodriguez, Paula Scher plus many others. The interviews are split between categories named Legends, Truth Tellers, Culture Makers, Trendsetters and Visionaries.


Debbie Millman, photography by John Madere (Copyright © John Madere, 2022)

To date, Debbie has been named by Fast Company as the most creative in the business, and one of the “most influential designers working today” by Graphic Design USA. Alongside her podcast pursuits, she’s also authored six books and is the president emeritus of the American Institute of Graphic Arts – one of five women to hold the position in 100 years. What’s more is that her podcast, Design Matters, has gained a Cooper Hewitt National Design Award, six Webby nominations and named best overall podcast by Apple Podcasts. This new title, then, arrives as an apt addition to her expansive career. In the introductory page of the book, Debbie writes: “Here we are, a decade and a half into a grand experiment. This book represents a body of work, a love letter to creativity, a testament to the power of curiosity.”

Through her podcast, Debbie has become well-known for her relatable interview process; she’s able to pluck out unexpected and revealing responses from her subjects. “I’ve discovered that the arc of a creative life is a circuitous one and I am endlessly fascinated by how people become who they are, and how the decisions they make over the course of their lives impacts their work,” explains Debbie in the release.

Maria Popova, a Bulgarian writer who’s contributed to the books, says, “I have witnessed person after person leave her studio aglow with the ecstatic relief of feeling what we all ultimately wish to feel: deeply understood and appreciated, a little bit more in touch with ourselves beyond ourselves, reminded of who and what we are in the full of our being.”

Why Design Matters: Conversations with the World’s Most Creative People is available to pre-order here.

Hero Header

Debbie Millman: Why Design Matters: Conversations with the World’s Most Creative People (Copyright © Debbie Millman, 2022)

Share Article

About the Author

Ayla Angelos

Ayla is a London-based freelance writer, editor and consultant specialising in art, photography, design and culture. After joining It’s Nice That in 2017 as editorial assistant, she was interim online editor in 2022/2023 and continues to work with us on a freelance basis. She has written for i-D, Dazed, AnOther, WePresent, Port, Elephant and more, and she is also the managing editor of design magazine Anima. 

It's Nice That Newsletters

Fancy a bit of It's Nice That in your inbox? Sign up to our newsletters and we'll keep you in the loop with everything good going on in the creative world.