The Drawing Board – a podcast by WATG

Introducing our new podcast, The Drawing Board, hosted by award-winning journalist and former CNN anchor Monita Rajpal. Monita has previously interviewed the likes of Mikhail Gorbachev, Vicente Fox, Tom Ford, I.M. Pei, Philippe Starck and Thomas Heatherwick.

The podcast addresses questions such as ‘How do you ensure a destination stands the test of time?’ ‘What does the architect of the future look like?’ ‘Is it wise to relocate a capital city?’ ‘How can designers go beyond greenwashing?’ and ‘How do you redefine luxury?’

‘We are thrilled to be launching The Drawing Board, a real celebration of the expansive knowledge and experience of WATGs’ people, and our global, innovative culture. We are constantly evolving to meet our client’s aspirations in this radically evolving world and this podcast addresses the key issues within the industry today, and for the future.’ said Dave Moore, President & CEO.

The Drawing Board is a collaboration that spans multiple offices around the globe.

Full episode list:

1 Feb – The Psychology of Design – WATG’S Bryan Algeo, Senior Vice President, Architect and Master Planner, and Xin Li, Associate Vice President and Senior Planner discuss The Psychology of Design. The built environment is not only about the marriage of form and function. It is also about identity and emotions. How do designers identify the goals when it comes to how clients/users/public want to feel? What are the factors involved when looking at emotional goals and design principles? Is emotional intelligence a key characteristic of a good designer?

15 Feb – How do you relocate a capital city? – The city of Jakarta will no longer be the capital of Indonesia with plans to relocate the government to Kalimantan in Borneo. The new capital, named Nusantara, is a bid to redistribute wealth and create a new ‘center of economic gravity’. Chris Panfil, Vice President and Director of Planning and Urban Design at WATG discusses the main factors that need to be considered when relocating a capital city. How do you rebuild one of the world’s most overpopulated capitals? And what happens to the old one?

1 March – Redefining Luxury – Opulent. Grand. Expensive. Aspirational… Words that were once used to describe luxury. But what words would we use now? How has the pandemic reshaped our perspective and redefined our vision of what luxury really means? Rachel Johnson, Studio Director of Wimberly Interiors, and Jeremy Heyes, Senior Vice President, discuss what luxury means today.

15 March – The Architect of the Future, Part 1 – The built landscape is a reflection of us, of our need to develop, to grow, to live, to thrive, and to be remembered. It is also a reflection of our relationship with our environment. Architects and designers have always been translators, if you will, between a need and a vision. Today, they are also leading the way in helping us change the way we relate to our environment toward a more sustainable and respectful relationship. The challenges facing architects today are vast and complex. What about the architect of the future? We get back to basics and ask what makes a good architect. How is talent defined? How are conversations between design teams and clients changing? And what will the architect of the future need to be ready for? Monita is joined by Monica Cuervo, Managing Director, Americas.

29 March – The Architect of the Future, Part 2 – In the last episode, we spoke with Monica Cuervo who, with 30 years of experience at WATG, shared with us her perspective on what skills and talents are needed for architects both present and future to succeed in an ever-evolving landscape and climate. In part 2 of this discussion, we have a similar conversation but from the perspective of an architect who is considered one of WATG’s rising stars – Nora Pui, Senior Project Designer, based in our Singapore office.

12 April – Designing for Fun – We discuss designing for fun with Senior Planner, Dan Hinch. So much of what we talk about these days, and so much of what is on our minds, is serious stuff. Even when it comes to hospitality, we tend to focus on wellness, sustainability, and comfort – which are all important, of course. But what about fun? Where does that fit into the conversation and design process? How do you create a fun experience? After all, fun isn’t just for kids!

22 April – Happy Earth Day! – Beyond Greenwashing – The nature of human beings is the need to build, grow, and change, to find new landscapes and terrain on which to call our own. The desire for legacy, for impact, is huge. What kind of architectural styles and techniques can help not hinder our planet? And what can we learn from the intelligence of nature? Chiara Calufetti- Lim, Principal at WATG, discusses the issue of how we satisfy an innate human need with the challenges and pressures already felt by the environment.

10 May – So you bought a private island; what next? – What goes into creating a place that becomes a chosen space to live, explore, to rest? Where do you even begin, how do you avoid sameness? And what are the crucial building blocks that must be present in order to ensure a destination is one that lasts? In this episode, Monita is joined by Rob Sykes, Studio Director, Advisory Services, London, and Guy Cooke, Studio Director, Advisory Services, Singapore. Rob is a real estate economist whose extensive knowledge of the hospitality sector in global markets equips developers, investors, hospitality operators, and other stakeholders with the tools needed for effective project planning. Guy focuses on market analysis, development strategy, and financial feasibility for the hotel, resort, branded residential, mixed-use, and attraction sectors. He is an avid follower of lifestyle trends and market insights. Both collaborate with WATG’s design teams to ensure creative and future-proof solutions for clients.

New episodes are released bi-weekly. Search ‘The Drawing Board’ on your preferred podcast app.