Design can be found in everything we touch, see and hear.

In the summer of 2023, Sir John Soane’s Museum and Luke Irwin will present a fourth season of By Design, a public talk series in which leading designers discuss their practice, through the lens of a single object.

Co-hosted by Will Gompertz, the Barbican Centre's Artistic Director, and Alice Rawsthorn, award-winning design critic and author, we reflect on the power of objects – large or small, mundane or exceptional, aesthetic or utilitarian – to spark new ideas and act as a spur for different forms of creativity.

Speakers for our first three seasons were Cornelia Parker, Sophie Hicks, Martin Brudnizki, Stephen Jones, Martino Gamper, David Adjaye, Es Devlin, Edmund de Waal, Olga Polizzi, Peter Saville, Ilse Crawford, Amanda Levete, Erdem Moralıoğlu, and Phyllida Barlow. Listen and watch our full archive of talks here.

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Catch up on talks from previous seasons

Watch and listen to videos and podcasts of talks from the first three seasons of By Design.