Design Lab with Bon Ku

Does living in a well-designed city make you healthier? How can surfing increase your creativity? Have you ever wondered why hospitals are so ugly? Bon Ku is a physician and an avid fan of design, food, surfboarding and Medicine. In each episode of DESIGN LAB, Bon and his guests tell stories about how the worlds of design, art, science and health intersect. Listen and learn new insights, hacks and design principles that you can apply to your own life. 

Health & Fitness
Society & Culture
EP 45: Designing for Inclusivity | Pinar Guvenc
Bon and Pinar talk about why inclusive design is better design, diagnostic ideation, and the broadening definition of health.
39 min
EP 44: Designing Stories as a Physician and Scr...
Bon and Sethi talk about the parallels between screenwriting and medicine, writing as an act of empathy, and the art of storytelling.
32 min
EP 43: Designing Acute Care | Monique Smith
Bon and Monique chat about the importance of understanding people’s lived experiences, health equity, and approaching problems in healthcare through a design lens.
40 min
EP 42: Designing Your Immune System | Wendy Sue...
Bon and Wendy talk about how we can design our immune system by introducing diverse foods, using social media for public health and the role of creativity in medicine.
47 min
EP 41: Designing Solutions in Global Health | D...
Bon and Daniel talk about reducing mortality in non-communicable diseases in India, the journey from Silicon Valley to Global Health and why everyone needs a design mindset.
48 min
EP 40: Designing Open Source Healthcare | Juhan...
Bon and Juhan talk about open source healthcare, the need for a longitudinal health record for patients, and why Juhan shared his own genome publicly.
43 min
EP 39: Designing Cities | Inga Saffron
Bon asks Inga about her journey in becoming an architecture critic, transforming public spaces through design and why diseases are the most powerful architects.
36 min
EP 38: Designing Childbirth | Neel Shah
Bon and Neel talk about why so many women in the U.S. die in childbirth, affirming dignity in healthcare, and Neel’s mission on redesigning childbirth.
40 min
EP 37: Designing Equitable Health Environments ...
Bon and Kati talk about the psychology of indoor spaces, the function of healthcare spaces and the relationship between nature and healthcare outcomes.
42 min
EP 36: Designing to Improve Life for People | R...
Bon and Ramna talk about inclusive design, the magic of designers working in healthcare and how Indian classical music served as a training ground for a career in design.
40 min
EP 35: Designing for Patients and Caregivers | ...
Bon and Deborah talk about the legendary designer Milton Glaser, redesigning the pill bottle and how to design more confidence for patients and caregivers.
42 min
EP 34: Designing Urgent Care | Richard Park
Bon and Rich talk about starting one of the largest urgent care chains in the U.S., investing in vulnerable populations and how running a one-hour photo store helped Rich develop the skill set to be a healthcare entrepreneur.
43 min
EP 33: Designing Cures | David Fajgenbaum
Bon and David talk about redesigning the current approach to pharmaceutical treatment of diseases, crowdsourcing in healthcare and why patients can’t wait for miracles.
42 min
EP 32: Designing Sound Baths | Sara Auster
Sara Auster is a sound therapist, meditation teacher and author. She has spent the past decade introducing sound baths to audiences and unique environments all across the globe.
40 min
EP 31: Designing for Social Change | Penina Aca...
Bon and Penina discuss learning to design for the true needs of people, bringing design education to youth in Uganda and the value of design in healthcare.
42 min
EP 30: Designing Healthcare Spaces | Abbie Clary
Bon and Abbie talk about healthcare architecture, the impact of Covid-19 on the future design of hospitals and improving the patient experience through the built environment.
42 min
Ep 29: Designing Transparency in Healthcare | L...
Bon and Liz talk about patients co-designing research, having immediate access to our own medical records and the need for a chief patient information officer.
56 min
EP 28: Creating Future Designers in Africa | Gu...
Bon and Guidione talk about creating the future of design in Africa, organizing a global design conference and life in Mozambique.
30 min
EP 27: Designing Patient Health Stories | Katie...
Bon and Katie talk about designing visual health histories, why hospitals should hire designers and improving communication between patients and healthcare professionals.
56 min
EP 26: Designing Relationships in Healthcare | ...
Bon and Larry talk about flattening hierarchies, creating safe spaces in healthcare, co-designing with patients and embracing curiosity in the culture of Medicine.
44 min
EP 25: Design as a Human Right | Mokena Makeka
Bon and Mokena talk about design as a human right, how hip hop culture informed Mokena’s architectural philosophy and understanding people through the environments they create.
60 min
EP 24: Designing for Global Health | Michael Ngigi
Bon and Michael talk about his incredible journey from living on the streets of Nairobi to becoming a designer, incorporating design in public health projects and throwing our biases out the window.
45 min
EP 23: Designing for Justice | Antionette Carroll
Bon and Antionette talk about what it means to be a redesigner for justice, the relationship between health and equity, and her journey in design.
45 min
EP 22: Redesigning Happy Hour | Ben Branson
Bon and Ben talk about tackling the public health challenge of excessive alcohol consumption, normalizing the choice not to drink alcohol and how peas can be turned into a delicious cocktail.
54 min
EP 21: Designing Equitable Places | Katherine D...
Bon and Katherine talk about the role of architecture in improving public health, repurposed buses acting as mobile produce markets and redefining public spaces.
48 min
EP 20: Designing Behavior | Kathleen Brandenburg
Kathleen and I talk about designing for behavior, how research is creative and bringing joy into healthcare.
48 min
EP 19: Designing a Patient Revolution | Maggie ...
Bon talks with Maggie and Victor about the language of care, industrialized health care and why they started The Patient Revolution.
46 min
EP 18: Designing a User Friendly World | Cliff ...
Bon and Cliff talk about how Three Mile Island was the worst design fail in U.S. history, feedback loops and why most unsexy wicked problems actually demand the most talented designers.
45 min
EP 17: Trauma Responsive Design | Rachael Dietkus
Bon and Rachael talk about how design and social work fit together, why designers should think more like social workers and about the journey of developing the field of trauma responsive design.
40 min
EP 16: Health in All Design | Andrew Ibrahim
45 min
EP 15: Designing the Great Indoors | Emily Anthes
Emily and Bon talk about the design of modern hospitals, evidenced-based design and tips on creating healthier indoor spaces.
37 min
EP 14: Jam Session featuring Mike Natter
In this fun meandering conversation, our producer Rob Pugliese asks Bon and Mike about their holiday plans, TikTok, quarantine puppies, Jeopardy, reducing pandemic stress and so much more.
47 min
EP 13: The Practice of Design in Health Care | ...
Bon chats with Miya and Tina about how design can make healthcare more human-centered, the challenges of explaining the job of a designer to their Asian parents, and why all clinical teams need designers.
44 min
EP 12: Designing through Storytelling | Emily S...
Bon and Emily talk about tips to become better storytellers, fiercely protecting time for creativity, and challenging the status quo in healthcare to make room for humanity.
38 min
EP 11: Emancipatory Design | Lesley-Ann Noel
Bon and Lesley talk about conducting design research during a pandemic, confronting biases through emancipatory design, and the challenges Lesley has faced being a black female designer.
39 min
EP 10: Designing Death | BJ Miller
Discover how you can live a fuller and more meaningful life by redefining your understanding of death.
39 min
EP 9: Spatial Justice | Craig Wilkins
In this episode, Bon and Craig talk about hip hop architecture, urban acupuncture and spatial justice.
57 min
EP 8: Designing with Data | Giorgia Lupi
Learn about Giorgia’s stunning data visualizations and why you should create your own personal data diary.
39 min
EP 7: Technology and Design | John Maeda
Bon and John talk about computational design, John shares some sage tips on creativity, and they both make way too many Star Wars references.
42 min
EP 6: Food as Medicine | Nicole Marquis
Challenge your misconceptions about a plant-based diet and get inspired to redesign your pantry.
42 min
EP 5: Designing for Equity | George Aye
Bon and George talk about how “gut checks” can inform our everyday decisions, their Asian identities, George’s journey to becoming a designer and why Bon was ashamed of the smell of kimchi.
39 min
EP 4: The Power of Making | Emily Pilloton
Bon and Emily talk about the power of making and you will be inspired to use your own hands to shape the world around you.
36 min
EP 3: Art, Storytelling & Medicine | Mike Natter
In his conversation with Bon, Mike shares how art helps him both as a doctor and a patient living with diabetes, embracing a creative mindset and being trolled on Instagram.
30 min
EP 2: Designing for Mental Health | Nzinga Harr...
Bon and Dr. Harrison discuss the stigma around mental health, redesigning our lives for better brain health and Bon’s unhealthy addiction to surfing.
41 min
EP 1: Sharing the Power of Design | Ellen Lupton
Bon and Ellen discuss DIY design, why healthcare needs design and how each one of us can become more creative.
34 min
Introducing: Design Lab with Bon Ku
We tell stories about how the worlds of design, art, science and health intersect!
1 min