Podcast Episode #14 – David Rockwell, Designer of, well, Everything.

I can’t draw.  I can’t decorate.  And the bird house I built in shop class was only valuable for the air rights.

So I’m in serious awe of all designers.  But it’s not just because they can put colors and shapes together that are both pleasing and challenging to the eye.  It’s because in addition to their gifts with aesthetics, designers have incredible scientific knowledge.  The job is an incredible juxtaposition of both the left and right sides of the brain, and the people that do it are their own brand of genius.

And the people that do it in multiple mediums?  Now those guys and dolls are something.

There aren’t too many architects and designers that work in as many mediums as David Rockwell.  As you’ll hear in this week’s podcast, David got bit by the Broadway bug early in life, but then went on the unique path of designing other things, like hotels in Las Vegas, some of the most famous restaurants in the world, airport terminals, and more.

But thankfully for us, he came back to Broadway.  And thankfully for me (and for all of you listeners), he sat down with me on the stage of my theater to talk about . . .

  • How he comes up with ideas for the design of his shows.
  • Why transitions are the most important factor in a design.
  • Who taught him to work in our world, after designing in so many other mediums.
  • How Producers should work with designers (and how he deals with Producers).
  • When designers should be hired for a Broadway show.

And yeah, there’s more (wait until you hear the “transparency” epiphany that David taught me!).

So listen in, and don’t forget to subscribe.  We’ve got lawyers and agents and a couple more Tony winners coming up, so stay tuned.

Click here to listen.

Listen to it on iTunes here.  (And give me a rating, while you’re there!)

Download it here.


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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.