Podcast connects interior design community during the pandemic
With more people turning to podcasts, two Sheridan Bachelor of Interior Design students and a team of talented Journalism students have come together to release Two Designers and a Podcast.
The new series features interviews between students and interior design experts as they question and dissect the future of the industry. The first season, out now, was created by the team from their homes during the COVID-19 lockdowns, using Zoom, email and video chats.
“Closets make great soundproof recording booths,” jokes co-host Samantha McNair, joined by fellow co-host Megan Sarmatiuk.
Sheridan’s Interior Design team held numerous information gathering sessions before recording began last year, seeking expert advice and encouragement. Christine Laperriere, president of Leader in Motion Inc., and Helen Surgenor, producer for CBC Radio’s World Report were among the individuals to lend their support to the podcast. The working group helped ensure everyone was committed to the scope of the project, while also inspiring and motivating the students to move forward.
Julie Nichols, Coop Advisor with Sheridan’s Bachelor of Interior Design program, says the creation of Two Designers and a Podcast is “a wonderful testimonial to the inquiring minds of Sheridan’s talented students and the support of our insightful industry partners.” She believes the great discussions that took place will be of interest for listeners whether they work in interior design, or not.
Throughout its first season Two Designers and a Podcast tackles a variety of topics, gleaning insights from some of the top execs in world of interior design. Students completed all research and chase producing when it came to selecting the first season’s esteemed guests, pulling from a supportive group of industry advisors.
"Not only has this interplay of journalism and design helped us curate quality content — it’s also prompted us to look beyond our current field of study,” says Sarmatiuk.
In the third episode, Sarah Taylor, a corporate designer at global design and architecture firm Gensler, chats with the hosts about the future of workplace design and why the pandemic has strengthened our need for sustainable design solutions. “The conversation flowed so well, I remember feeling so confident and optimistic about the series as a whole,” reflects McNair.
In the seventh episode — a favourite of Sarmatiuk’s — Gordon Mackay, co-founder and director of strategy at award-winning agency mackaywong, discusses creative outdoor dining solutions and Instagram’s influence on the hospitality industry.
"I hope that this project continues long after I leave Sheridan, and I’ll be able to continue to listen as more students adapt, grow, and change the podcast to align with their ideas about the future of interior design,” says Sarmatiuk, who will graduate next year. “It continues to be an invaluable and exciting experience that will stick with me through the rest of my schooling and long into my career."
Laura Anderson, program support specialist for Sheridan’s Faculty of Animation Arts and Design, recalls when the team first sat down (virtually) to chat about the podcast. “I think from where we started to where we ended with our final episode shows the quick and fast evolution of this project and the high standard to which our team set themselves to. It’s remarkable what can be done if you just say yes to new ideas and allow yourself to learn and grow along the way.”
“Sometimes the best time to start something new is during the worst times,” adds Technologist and Field Placement Advisor, Karen Kritzer. “The pandemic didn’t stop our resilient students, and it gave them something positive and uplifting to work on. We cannot wait to see the places the podcast can go when recordings can happen in person and in studio.”
Listen to the first season of 2 Designers and a Podcast on Spotify. Watch for the upcoming second season.
Pictured above: Megan Sarmatiuk and Samantha McNair
A special thank you to the entire team for their support and hard work: Samantha McNair, Megan Sarmatiuk, Daisy Kim, Rohit Rana, Teri-Ann Cadogan, Nicole Botelho Simao, Amelia Sher and the SheridanLife Radio team for their countless insights and technical support. To Cheryl Vallendar, Brad Culver, Julie Nichols, Mary-Jane Carroll, Laura Anderson and Karen Kritzer for their guidance, and lastly to Carly Board and Morgan Hodasy for their assistance.
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