If you’re like us, you’ve been a ravenous consumer of entertainment media these days. And if you haven’t already tapped into the well of great design, architecture and history podcasts out there, well you’re missing out. We’ve rounded up our favorite podcasts for mid century modern enthusiasts which focus on everything from lifestyle to design and history.
Founded in 2007, USModernist Radio is not only a podcast which features insightful and entertaining interviews with “fascinating people who own, create, love, and hate Modernist architecture,” as creator George Smart describes it. It’s also the largest open digital nonprofit educational archive for Modernist residential design in the world. And if you recognize the name in pages of Atomic Ranch magazine and our website, yes, George is a sometime columnist for Atomic Ranch too. We recruit only the best.
Roman Mars says that when we walk around this world, we see but 1% of the thought and effort that goes into the things that surround us. The other 99%– the unnoticed architecture and design poured into everything we see and use? Well they’re unsung, until now. Hence the name of his wildly popular show 99% Invisible. Each week Roman and his team explore the process and power of design and architecture- in oftentimes surprising ways and often on unexpected topics.
This is the perfect podcast for mid century modern homeowners who who like to be hands on with their remodel or plan to be. Host and creator Della Hansmann is an architect who honed her craft focusing on mid century homes and the work that often needs to be done to restore or revitalize them for today with period authenticity in mind. Mid Mod Remodel’s episodes are short and sweet with such topics as “Why Decluttering Should be Step Zero of Your Remodel Plan” and “Use Pinterest The Right Way to Plan Your MCM Remodel” but they make for a great pep talk whether you’re starting your remodel, or just dreaming of it.
Archinect Sessions, may be a podcast aimed at professional architects and architecture students, but anyone who is a fan of the ideas, philosophies and goings on of the world’s most important and most beautiful buildings will enjoy this weekly show billed as “a casual discussion of the news and issues affecting professions in charge of the built environment.”
If you’re interested in getting to know the stories of and from the people behind some of the most notable homes, projects and events in mid century architecture and design today, then Next Up! Mid Century Homes is the listen for you. Host and creator TJ Pierce (who has moderated events for Atomic Ranch at Modernism Week) holds lively conversations with guests like Shari Stahl Gronwald, the daughter of Stahl House owners Buck and Carlotta Stahl for whom Pierre Koenig designed one of the era’s most iconic and recognizable homes. And yes, I have been on the Next Up! podcast myself about a year ago when I took the helm of Atomic Ranch in full, but that only means I can personally attest to how great a show it is.
If you’re in the mood for something different, Lindsay Goranson’s Adventure to Civility Series from her This Past Life NYC podcast/business is a fun and charming escape. Part 50’s-era radio show and part human interest storytelling show (ala This American Life ), Lindsay chronicles her time spent exploring what life in the mid century in New York City would have been like. And she tells the story through journal-entry like musings as well by interviewing local businesses that were around since then. Full disclosure: the podcast is now defunct and the episodes few, but it’s a imaginative and whimsical binge that’s worth the trip back in time.
From Ted Wells, a jack of all trades- nay student of all trades in the world of design (buildings, urban spaces, books and products) comes the podcast Living: Simple. Also an architectural historian and writer, Ted explores what we can learn from celebrated architects and designers, and the houses, buildings, gardens and objects they create. His podcast frequently cover mid century subjects as Richard Neutra, Frank Lloyd Wright, Lucienne Day and the Eamses. They are quick and easy episodes and while Ted stopped producing episodes 3 years ago, what’s there is insightful and elegantly produced.
Like other podcasts for mid century modern fans on this list, Monocle on Design doesn’t focus entirely on mid century-era subject matter, but there are plenty of modernist focused episodes covered in the vast library to keep you entertained and enlightened. Check out the episode on Josef Frank, the founder of the Vienna School of Architecture and it’s concept of modern houses, or the bonus episode on Eileen Grey to name a few.
The podcast Moustalgia deserves an honorable mention on this list. It’s a podcast on all things Disney but it’s frequent coverage of historical facts and behind-the scenes tidbits along with interviews with imagineers and workers from the the park’s mid century heyday make for a fascniating listen.
And on our “one to watch” list? Dezeen’s new Face to Face podcast where Dezeen founder and Editor in Chief Marcus Fairs chats with notable artists, designers and architects of today.
Looking for more entertainment suggestions? Check out our roundup of the most binge-able movies and TV shows to watch right now.