Design Better
The Design Better Podcast
David Sedaris: How one of the world's top humorists uses observation and prototyping to hone his craft

David Sedaris: How one of the world's top humorists uses observation and prototyping to hone his craft

Episode 80 of the Design Better Podcast

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Welcome to the first episode in our Design Better series on the creative process. In this series, we’re going beyond the confines of design to speak with some of the most creative people in the world, to learn how they approach collaboration, come up with innovative ideas, and overcome creative obstacles.

We’ll speak with guests like Ed Catmull, co-founder of Pixar; Autumn Durald Arkapaw, cinematographer for Loki and Wakanda Forever, and OK Go, one of the most creative bands in the world right now. Before we get there though, we have a very special guest for you.

You may have first heard of David Sedaris from his annual reading of The Santaland Diaries on National Public Radio in the U.S., a story that chronicles his misadventures as Crumpet the holiday elf, and has been a holiday tradition for over 30 years.

Or, if you’re like us, you may have gotten to know him from some of his early books like Naked. And if you don’t know David Sedaris, you’re in for a real treat. We chat with David about his acute powers of observation, how he prototypes his essays in front of live audiences, and whether fear exists in his creative process.

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One quick announcement before we get started. We’re continuing to explore new ways to help you learn, grow your career, hone your craft, and get inspired here at Design Better. As part of that, we’d like to invite you to 3 free AMAs (“Ask Me Anything”) with some amazing experts: 

First, on September 21st, Dan Mall, founder of Design System University, who’s helped companies ranging from Eventbrite, to Nike, to United Airlines, develop and deploy sustainable design systems will share what he’s learned to help designers get the respect they deserve while scaling digital products sustainable.

Next, on September 28th, Judy Wert, co-founder of Wert & Co, who has been guiding the careers of top designers through ups and downs in the job market, will join us for an open discussion  where you can ask questions, get career guidance, and gain perspective on the challenging design and tech job landscape.

Finally, on October 4th, Debbie Millman, host of Design Matters —the first podcast about design, and one of the longest running shows in the world—will be with us and you’ll have a chance to ask one of the best interviewers in the world what inspires her and what she’s learned about creativity over the course of her career.

For more details and to sign up for free to each AMA, go to


David Sedaris is the author of Barrel Fever and Holidays on Ice, as well as collections of personal essays, Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, and his most recent book, Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, each of which became an immediate bestseller. The audio version of Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls is a 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards Nominee for Best Spoken Word Album. He is the author of the NYT-bestselling collection of fables entitled Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary (with illustrations by Ian Falconer). He was also the editor of Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules: An Anthology of Outstanding Stories. Sedaris’ pieces appear regularly in The New Yorker and have twice been included in “The Best American Essays.” There are over ten million copies of his books in print and they have been translated into 25 languages.

Buy David Sedaris’ books at Avid Bookshop

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Design Better
The Design Better Podcast
Design Better co-hosts Eli Woolery and Aarron Walter explore the intersection of design, technology, and the creative process through conversations with inspiring guests across many creative fields. Whether you’re design curious or a design pro, Design Better is guaranteed to inspire and inform. Episodes are released semi-weekly. Vanity Fair calls Design Better, “sharp, to the point, and full of incredibly valuable information for anyone looking to better understand how to build a more innovative world.”