Beauty At Work

Brandon Vaidyanathan

Beauty at Work expands our understanding of beauty: what it is, how it works, and why it matters. Sociologist Brandon Vaidyanathan interviews scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, and leaders across diverse fields to reveal new insights into how beauty shapes our brains, behaviors, organizations, and societies--for good and for ill. Learn how to harness the power of beauty in your life and work, while avoiding its pitfalls.

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Episodes

What's Beautiful About AI? with Brian Mullins
Feb 15 2024
What's Beautiful About AI? with Brian Mullins
Brian Mullins is the CEO of Mind Foundry, an Oxford University company operating at the intersection of innovation, research, and usability. Brian has been at the forefront of how technology can positively change people’s lives throughout his career. He has over a decade of experience in high-growth technology companies across industries such as Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, and Robotics. He has been awarded over 100 patents, has been asked to testify as an expert before the U.S. Senate, received an Edison award for Industrial Design, was named one of the CNBC Disruptor 50, and was selected as one of Goldman Sachs “100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs.” The Mind Foundry platform empowers organizations with responsible AI built for high-stakes applications where decisions affect the lives of individuals or are made at the scale of populations.In this episode, we talk about: Brian’s early encounters with beautyBeing a disruptive innovatorA quick crash course on AI and machine learningDebunking popular superstitions about artificial intelligence gaining consciousnessThree types of beauty: sensory beauty, beauty as a heuristic, and the beauty of understandingHow AI can solve real-world problems like addressing malaria in third-world countriesPotential concerns of artificial intelligence replacing human workCreating positive change through AITo learn more about Brian’s work, you can find him at:Website: https://www.mindfoundry.ai/ Instagram: https://twitter.com/mrlaserbeam/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brianmullins2/ Support us on Patreon:https://www.patreon.com/BeautyatWorkPodcastSupport the show
Orchestrating Beauty with Timothy Myers
Feb 1 2024
Orchestrating Beauty with Timothy Myers
Timothy Myers is one of America’s most versatile and innovative conductors. He is a frequent collaborator with leading opera companies and orchestras, and serves as the Sarah and Ernest Butler Music Director at Austin Opera where, in addition to leading performances, he participates in the artistic strategy and development of the Company. He is also the Music Director of the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra, one of the world’s most prestigious ensembles for early-career classical musicians. A leading voice on the topics of leadership and innovation, Tim has made recent speaking appearances at the SXSW Festival, Harvard Business School, The University of Texas at Austin, and Miami Dade College. Tim is also the host of the Listening on Purpose podcast.In this episode, we talk about: Growing up as a young musician in KansasVarieties of beauty in classical musicHow live music is the antidote to modern entertainmentThe beauty of a shared experience with othersTim’s journey to becoming a professional conductorHonoring tradition and embracing innovation in musicWhat is the role of a conductor?What leadership lessons can we learn from orchestras?How to learn to appreciate classical musicTo learn more about Tim’s work, you can find him at: Website: https://timothymyers.com/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/motmyers/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/timothymyersconductor Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/@timothymyers Twitter: https://twitter.com/motmyers Support the show
What Is Beauty? with Dr. Michael R. Spicher
Jan 1 2024
What Is Beauty? with Dr. Michael R. Spicher
Michael R. Spicher, PhD is a public philosopher and creator of Aesthetics Research Lab. He writes and speaks about aesthetics in professional and academic contexts. He is a regular contributor to BeautyMatter, a resource for the beauty industry. Michael lectures at both Boston Architectural College and Massachusetts College of Art and Design. He co-edited a forthcoming volume with Bloomsbury Visual Arts, Digital Fashion: Theory, Practice, Implications. And he is working on another book called Is Your Business Beautiful?In this episode, we talk about: How Michael found his love for aestheticsHow aesthetic experience is a basic reason for actionBeauty as a motivator for justiceNavigating unconscious and conscious beauty standards and biasesLearning to actively shape our aesthetic tastesObjective vs. subjective beautyViewing beauty as an emergent propertyDistinguishing between aesthetics and beautyWhat role does aesthetics play in businessAppreciating the performative beauty that comes with workAppreciating aesthetics in your daily lifeTo learn more about Michael’s work, you can find him at: https://aestheticsresearch.com/author/aestheticsresearch/https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelrspicher/ Links Mentioned:Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty by Nancy Etcoff - https://a.co/d/1v95rgn BEAUTY: A Quick Immersion by Crispin Sartwell - https://a.co/d/3w0iJkM The Abuse of Beauty: Aesthetics and the Concept of Art - https://a.co/d/2UKWzaF Support the show
The Beauty of Nature with Jennifer Walsh
Dec 15 2023
The Beauty of Nature with Jennifer Walsh
Jennifer Walsh is an acclaimed entrepreneur, author, and media figure who has spent over 25 years working at the intersection of beauty, retail, nature, and neuroscience to help people flourish. She pioneered America’s first experiential retail brand, Beauty Bar, in the 1990s, integrating biophilic design long before mainstream. Her trailblazing brand earned her regard as a “Beauty Futurist”. In 2016, Jennifer created her video series Walk with Walsh where she and her guests traversed the Central Park topography while discussing human connections to nature. She then launched her Wellness Walks® in Central Park and beyond which are mindfulness walks sprinkled with biophilic education.Jennifer has a twin sister who is profoundly disabled and has lived in a group home since they were the age of two. Her sister has been her north star in understanding the beauty in simplicity, in kindness, and the connection to spending time outdoors. Jennifer also spent 4 months living in a tent every summer for the past 34 years which has sculpted how she lives and works and deeply understands the human connection to the beauty all around us in nature's rhythms. As a freelance writer for 27 years, Jennifer continues to cover stories around wellness, travel, fitness, beauty, fashion, and home. She is the author of the popular wellness journal, Walk Your Way Calm and the podcast co-host of Biophilic Solutions, Nature Has the Answers. Jennifer guides organizations globally on biophilic design and the importance of experiencing beauty and nature every day for optimal health.In this episode, we talk about: Jennifer’s natural affinity for the outdoorsHow and why Jennifer built Beauty BarOn creating sensorial and accessible experiences The power of profound storytelling in businessThe key to experiencing immersive beauty in natureBreaking down biophobia and the fear of nature Why experiencing sunlight should be a daily priorityOn fostering human and ecological flourishing through Lost Art of Being Human (LABH)How beauty is a doorway to feeling good in our bodiesWhy you should be seeking beauty in a chaotic worldTo learn more about Jennifer’s work, you can find her: Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/thejenniferwalsh Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thejenniferwalsh/ Lost Art of Being Human: https://www.lostartofbeinghuman.com/ Walk with Walsh: https://www.walkwithwalsh.com/about-jennifer-walsh Resource Mentioned:Thin Place Design: Architecture of the Numinous by Phillip James Tabb - https://a.co/d/0t9ZoGM Support the show
The Transformative Power Of Beauty with Chris Everett
Nov 15 2023
The Transformative Power Of Beauty with Chris Everett
Chris Everett is a seasoned facilitator of transformative experiences for individuals and organizations. He is a musician, artist, designer, strategist, coach, farmer, and co-founder of an arts nonprofit in western Wisconsin. With over three decades in brandexpression and strategy, he is a master at using beauty as a powerful medium for transformation. From his early days in graphic design to deep dives into brand strategy and organizational culture, Chris's career reflects a persistent quest to uncover the deeper meanings of the beauty that we encounter in the world around us. He is deeply influenced by the teachings of the Delicate Lodge, a lineage of Medicine Wheel wisdoms that emphasize ceremony and ritual design. Adopting the title of "minister of beauty" in 2020, Chris embodies the belief in the sacredness of deeply human work and the transformative potential of beauty. Through his diverse roles and experiences, Chris also aids others in navigating their unique evolutionary journeys.In this episode, we talk about: How music and art shaped Chris’ childhoodHow spaces can be designed to feel more welcomingChris's journey from advertising to leadership developmentHow do you create genuine transformation in design?Chris’s quest to understand diverse perspectives on beautyHow beauty can elevate the way we think and show up our relationshipWhat does it mean to be a Minister of Beauty?Creating spaces for connection in natural environmentsChris’ vision for healing broken communities To learn more about Chris’ work, you can find him at:https://www.chriseverett.world/ Links Mentioned:Patterns of Transformation - Designing Sex, Death, and Survival in the 21st Century by Ida Benedetto - https://patternsoftransformation.com/ Support the show
From High Notes to High Planks with Sean Vigue
Oct 1 2023
From High Notes to High Planks with Sean Vigue
Sean Vigue is one of the most followed yoga, Pilates, power yoga, flexibility training and performance enhancing instructors in the world with millions of followers in every corner of the world from beginners to elite professional athletes. He is a bestselling author of titles such as “Pilates for Athletes”, “Power Yoga for Athletes”, “Pilates for Men” and enjoys creating books which are accessible to everyone regardless of age and fitness level. Sean has produced thousands of online workout videos, a full DVD line, his own podcast and loves teaching at fitness conferences. Before diving into the world of fitness, he worked as a professional opera/musical theater performer in theaters around the world for over 10 years and over 40 shows. He also won numerous singing competitions for opera and music theater as a dramatic baritone. In his spare time he is an amateur film, opera and classical music historian and MST3k fanatic.In this episode we talk about: On pursuing a career in professional theatreThe key to discovering the passions that make you come aliveSean’s experiences teaching fitness classes at DisneyExploring the world of operaDiving into the field of publishing fitness booksFinding beauty in fitnessBalancing the functional and aesthetic aspects of fitnessHow yoga and pilates can unlock a spiritual and emotional journeySean’s future ventures Sean's advice for aspiring fitness instructors and those wanting to get started on their fitness journeysTo learn more about Sean’s work, you can find him at: https://www.seanviguefitness.com/ Support the show
Beauty and Design with Pallavi Dean
Sep 15 2023
Beauty and Design with Pallavi Dean
Pallavi Dean plays at the intersection of design and entrepreneurship.  She founded her design firm Roar in 2013. A trained architect and sustainability specialist, she has won multiple awards for work across a range of sectors including commercial, hospitality, and residential. Recent work includes The Accor House of Original in Dubai, Sensasia Spa at Kempinski Dubai, and Mckinsey HQ in Doha.   She was born in India, raised in Dubai, and spent years working in London; her designs reflect these eclectic influences. A former professor of design, she strives to implement the latest theoretical and practical research into the firm’s designs. As a product designer, Pallavi collaborated with Artemide to launch ‘Interweave’ an interactive lighting system for Euro Luce in Milan 2019. Her work has been profiled in some of the world’s leading international media including the Financial Times, the BBC, Monocle, Wallpaper, and the Architectural Digest. She was named Architectural Digest Middle East Designer of the Year in 2020 and Designer of the Year globally by Interior Design Magazine in 2021.In this episode, we talk about: Growing up as a third-culture kidHow Pallavi’s upbringing shaped her love for design and creationOn creating spaces that engage and stimulate all five sensesFinding the balance between designing poetic and functional spacesHighlighting the beauty of imperfection in natureThe need for pain and suffering in order to appreciate the beautyExploring the vulnerability of artistic pursuitsHow Pallavi launched her own sustainable design firm, RoarThe importance of empathy-driven design and architecture Debunking misconceptions of design innovations in DubaiTo learn more about Pallavi’s work, you can find her on: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/roar_design_studio/ Website: https://www.designbyroar.com/about Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pallavidean/ Support the show
Beautiful Business with Tim Leberecht
Aug 1 2023
Beautiful Business with Tim Leberecht
Tim Leberecht is a German-American author and entrepreneur, and the co-founder and co-CEO of the House of Beautiful Business, a global think tank and community with the mission to make humans more human and business more beautiful.Previously, Tim served as the chief marketing officer of NBBJ, a global design and architecture firm. From 2006 to 2013, he was the chief marketing officer of product design and innovation consultancy Frog Design.Tim is the author of the book The Business Romantic (HarperCollins, 2015), which has been translated into nine languages to date. Tim’s writing regularly appears in publications such as Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Forbes, Fortune, Harvard Business Review, Inc, Quartz, Psychology Today, and Wired. His new book, The End of Winning, was released in German in 2020.In this episode, we talk about: How beauty and art shaped Tim’s childhoodHow he paved a multi-disciplinary career in design and marketingHow Tim started the New Romantic movement in business Tim’s pursuit to find the soul in businessHow The House of Beautiful Business began and expanded internationallyUnpacking the industry shift from human-centered to life-centered design Changing the traditional way we view businessNavigating the loneliness crisis in workplacesWhat does it mean to create hospitable spaces and workplaces?Practical advice to incorporate beauty at workTo learn more about his work, visit: http://timleberecht.com/ House of Beautiful Business: https://houseofbeautifulbusiness.com/ Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tleberecht/ Resources Mentioned:The Business Romantic: Give Everything, Quantify Nothing, and Create Something Greater Than Yourself by Tim Leberecht - https://a.co/d/eVPDt6I Death Over Dinner - https://deathoverdinner.org/ The Good Enough Job: Reclaiming Life from Work by Simone Stolzoff - https://a.co/d/3BPWRY7 Support us on Patreon:https://www.patreon.com/BeautyatWorkPodcastSupport the show
Design Without Borders with Adi Cohen
Jul 15 2023
Design Without Borders with Adi Cohen
Adi Cohen is the founder of The New Movement, an architecture studio that designs one-of-a-kind projects worldwide. She is the host of the podcast ‘Go Out and Talk to Strangers’, TEDx speaker, Forbes-featured, passionate creator, and free thinker. Adi is on a mission to create ‘the most inspiring places on earth’, with the intention of using the built environment as a tool to help people thrive. Adi is a global citizen, and the first architect to be living a nomadic lifestyle while working. She uses her travels as a source of inspiration, a way to connect to ancient wisdom and learn from local communities.In this episode, we talk about: How Adi’s childhood influenced her desire to explore Adi’s life-changing decision to leave behind her stable job to pursue a global education How little changes in a space can greatly influence the social behaviors of peopleUnderstanding the neurobiological pattern of prospects and refugeOn reimagining offices that are able to genuinely cultivate creativity Designing international spaces with remote teamsOn bridging cultural differences among clients and teamsThe beauty of co-living in nomadic communitiesOn the absurdity of how humans spend more than 90% of their lives indoorsOn rejecting traditional career paths and notionsAdi’s commitment to helping others create beautiful livesTo learn more about her work, visit: Website: https://thenewmvt.com/ IG: https://www.instagram.com/nomad.architect.me/ IN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/adi-cohen-architect/ FB: https://www.facebook.com/nomad.architect.me Email: info@thenewmvt.com Resources Mentioned:Openness to Experience: The Gates of the Mind - https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/openness-to-experience-the-gates-of-the-mind/ Accidental Genius: Revolutionize Your Thinking Through Private Writing - https://a.co/d/9wZSJNp Support us on Patreon:https://www.patreon.com/BeautyatWorkPodcastSupport the show
Art, Science, and Food With Dr. Rob Dunn
Jul 1 2023
Art, Science, and Food With Dr. Rob Dunn
Dr. Rob Dunn is the Senior Vice Provost of University Interdisciplinary Programs and a Reynolds Professor in Applied Ecology at North Carolina State University. As Senior Vice Provost he oversees efforts to spur interdisciplinary scholarship, education, and public engagement at NC State. As a scholar, he studies the ecology and evolution of societies and the species with which they interact. This has included projects on the global ecology of sourdough bread, the evolution of sour taste, and the origin of yogurt microbes, among many others. Dunn has published more than two hundred peer-reviewed articles and more than a hundred magazine and newspaper articles. He has published seven books, including, most recently, A Natural History of the Future and, with Monica Sanchez, Delicious, the Evolution of Flavor and How it Made Us HumanIn this episode, we talk about: 1. How Rob’s love for art and biology often intersect and interact with each other2. The distinction between elegance and beauty in ecology3. The value of art-science collaboration4. How can we better communicate important scientific discoveries to the general public?5. Rob’s interest in the interplay between speculative fiction and the future of science6. The adaptability of nature7. Is the scientific pursuit beautiful or violent? Or both?8. How can we make the funding for science endeavors more just?9. His new book on the origin of flavor and why pleasure matters10. The biology and psychology behind our cultural preferences for foodTo learn more about his work, visit: https://robdunnlab.com/ Resources Mentioned:Delicious: The Evolution of Flavor and How It Made Us Human by Rob Dunn and Monica Sanchez- https://www.amazon.com/Delicious-Evolution-Flavor-Made-Human/dp/0691199477  Support us on Patreon:https://www.patreon.com/BeautyatWorkPodcastSupport the show
The Spirituality of Design with Rachael Grochowski
Jun 15 2023
The Spirituality of Design with Rachael Grochowski
Rachael H. Grochowski is an award-winning architect and designer who is leading the conversation of designing what truly matters.  She believes that design surpasses simply being beautiful -- design has the power to inspire a sense of calm, interconnectedness, presence, and gratitude, leading to the belief that “Design is Spiritual.”As an architect and designer, a traveler and seeker, and both a yoga student and teacher, her personal and professional mission has been to guide others toward environments that make them feel grounded in their histories and inspired to grow into their futures. Under Rachael’s stewardship, her firm RHG Architecture + Design has built and designed award-winning residential, commercial, and hospitality projects that are each defined by a spiritual evolution of collective care.Rachael’s work has been featured in Architectural Digest, Forbes, Interior Design Magazine, Interiors Magazine, Fast Company, Aspire, MindBodyGreen, Hospitality Design, Sweet Jane, and Open House NYC among others.  She lives in Montclair, NJ with her three children.In this episode, we talk about: 1. How Rachael’s passion for architecture began in childhood2. How architecture can cultivate closeness and community3. The importance of designing structures that bring out good energy within us4. How architectural choices are related to spiritual truths 5. How architecture can shape our well-being6. The role of ugliness in architecture and design7. The importance of infusing authenticity into design projects 8. How spaces can shape relationships9. How to build genuine trust with clients10. Safety and ethics in designTo learn more about her work, visit: https://www.rhgdesign.com/  Resources Mentioned:The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand - https://a.co/d/8ulmHwb Support us on Patreon:https://www.patreon.com/BeautyatWorkPodcastSupport the show
Aesthetic Intelligence with Pauline Brown
Jun 1 2023
Aesthetic Intelligence with Pauline Brown
Pauline Brown is a marketing professor at Columbia Business School, where she teaches a course on ’the Business of Aesthetics.’ Earlier in her career, she held senior executive roles at design-driven companies, including LVMH, and Estée Lauder. She also is the author of a business book, Aesthetic Intelligence, published in 2019 by HarperCollins, and the founder of an e-learning platform Aesthetic Intelligence Labs.In this episode, we talk about:1. What Aesthetic Intelligence means2. The aesthetic genius of Steve Jobs3. How can we better understand the roots of personal taste and style?4. How do we distinguish between mimetic desire, trends, and genuine personal styles?5. Unpacking the limiting nature of the education system in developing our personal identities6. Can learning to embrace other aesthetics from other people help you become “more yourself”?7. What is the role of aesthetic intelligence in organizational culture?8.  How aesthetics help better communicate and embody company cultures9. How do we actually measure aesthetic intelligence in businesses?10. Unpacking the ethics of aesthetic intelligence 11. How can individuals and organizations cultivate aesthetic intelligence?12. Why aesthetic intelligence ("the other AI") matters in the age of AITo learn more about Pauline Brown’s work, visit: https://aestheticintelligence.com/ Resources Mentioned:Pauline’s book Aesthetic Intelligence: How to Boost It and Use It in Business and Beyond: https://a.co/d/eIUpkEH Aesthetic Intelligence Labs Course: https://www.aestheticintelligencelabs.com/course/ Support us on Patreon:https://www.patreon.com/BeautyatWorkPodcastSupport the show