Neil Howard via Flickr CC /

Thoreau wrote, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately.” His two years spent in solitude at Walden Pond left an indelible mark on the national psyche – and cemented the relationship between the inner self and the outdoors. Today, a writer reflects on two years in a cabin in the Vermont woods. Then, first we get rid of all the bosses!  We check in on the online retailer, Zappos, six months after their radical shift – getting rid of managers and declaring a self-organizing workforce. 

Vinoth Chandar via flickr Creative Commons /

What happens to our minds when we have too little, and how does that shape our choices and behaviors? On today's show, we'll talk to a pair of Princeton professors who set out to answer those questions. Plus, the inspiration for our Good Gig series was a conversation with a person who has one of the most unique gigs on the planet: sketch artist for the U.S. Supreme Court.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments. 

Jasperdo via flickr Creative Commons

Among the things we take for granted in today’s America is knowing the time, which makes transportation, business and national events possible. This, however, was not always the case.

On today’s show, from building sewers to standardizing time, we’ll talk about the invisible innovations that got us where we are today. Then, we’ll take a look back to a controversial figure at the center of Portsmouth’s historic preservation movement, Miss Dorothy Vaughan.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

betmari via flickr Creative Commons

The ad agency for Royal Caribbean chose a lively, catchy tune for a series of commercials for the cruise line, but it didn’t exactly match the wholesome, fun loving image they were trying to promote. On today’s show we’ll explore how the power of sound can make or break an experience. Then, we’ll speak with the Israeli musician known as Kutiman, about crafting an album made entirely of unrelated sound samples from YouTube videos.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Courtesy photo

Located at 32-34 South Main Street, the former office of New Hampshire Employment Security has been called “the ugliest building in Concord.”

It is empty and blighted. It also melds two distinctly different styles; a 1927 home made of brick juts from the back of a 1958, Mad Men-era office building framed with turquoise panels of porcelain-enameled steel. 

Those turquoise panels, in particular, look dated to many people. Mid-20th century architecture is not in vogue in New Hampshire, although it is in many cities outside of New England.

Inside The Retro World Of The Café Racer

Jul 14, 2014

When Walt Siegl was growing up in Austria, utilitarian motorcycles were a common fixture on the roads. These workaday machines moved passengers from town to town, sharing pavement with cars and bicycles.

Then, he’s 7 or 8 years old and a neighbor—a chimney sweep—rips through the village on something new. / Fiell Publishing

With over twenty years of experience on the editorial side of design publishing, Charlotte and Peter Fiell are pioneers in bringing great design to the masses with big, beautiful glossy books. Their first book together, “Modern Design Classics Since 1945”, was published twenty-two years ago and introduced mid-century modern furniture to a new generation of design lovers and novices.

They are also the former editors-in-chief for the best-selling design imprint Taschen. Three years ago the design power couple established their own line of art and design books—Goodman Fiell—which publishes titles written by the couple in addition to books written by experts across a wide range of disciplines; from art and architecture to natural history and popular culture.


Lance Rake is Professor of Industrial Design at the University of Kansas and the creative force behind “The Semester Bicycle,” a sleek and durable bike  made of bamboo grown just three blocks from an assembly shop in Greensboro, Alabama. He’s collaborating with community development organizations in Greensboro to create more than an innovative bike, but a new manufacturing model to pull a town in an economic standstill back into the race. 


Anyone who’s been online looking for DMV hours, or tried to download a fishing license application knows that government websites are rarely a good time.  No frills, no eye for design – just a lot of dense, complicated information and a wealth of webified bureaucracy.  So, imagine our surprise when we saw posts on AdWeek and Ad Age praising the beauty and functionality of the Milwaukee Police Department website.  The site was designed by ad agency

Deval Patrick's Photostream via Flickr

Treatment of the mentally ill has come a long way from the dark, locked wards of asylums now shuttered and crumbling in several New England towns. We now know much more about the brain, psychopharmacology and the importance of community for people suffering with profound mental conditions.

Natural Design

Jul 20, 2012

We continue to evolve and learn from Nature itself. The Missoula Montana-based "Biomimicry Institute" promotes the study and integration of natural design principles and serves as a resource for students and researchers through workshops and curricula.

Bio-mimicry adapts natural systems which have evolved over 3.8 billion years of evolution to create more sustainable human technologies. Elegant and functional designs found in Nature have been used to create structures, complex machines, electronics and even transportation and communication networks.