Welcome to “Good, Thoughtful Hosts,”
an insightful new design podcast.

On Good, Thoughtful Hosts, Sarah Steimer explores the built environment on the notion that a designer’s role is to anticipate the needs of their guests. Join us to dig into the ways in which the built world can influence people’s feelings and experiences — and how. Beyond the traditional requisites of form and function, hear firsthand from architects, engineers, planners, and more on how they imbue designs with health, well-being, user experience, and other modern priorities.

Interviews and discussions will include project case studies, profiles of designers, trend reports, and much, much more. Watch the 60-second season 1 teaser now.

“The role of the designer is that of a very good, thoughtful host, anticipating the needs of his guests.”

–Charles Eames

How To Listen

Beginning June 1, 2022, new episodes will be published every other Wednesday. You can find Good, Thoughtful Hosts on SoundCloud, Stitcher, Apple, Google, Spotify, and Pocket Casts. Or listen to and read transcripts from past episodes in our Episode Log.

Who You’re Hearing

Our moderator, Sarah Steimer, is a Chicago-based writer and editor. She’s collaborated with Cushing Terrell since 2020 and is thrilled to be interviewing CT experts on the Good, Thoughtful Hosts podcast.

Our composer, Sam Clapp, is a musician and audio engineer living in Chicago. He co-directs Cue Shop, a music library and scoring co-op that produces provocative instrumental music for radio and film.

Episode Log

The interaction between an office environment and the outside world isn’t always obvious (or may not exist at all, if there’s no easy access to a window). And while a potted plant on your desk may strike some inspiration, there’s a much bigger opportunity to employ ecological design thinking in the spaces in which we work.

In this episode of Good, Thoughtful Hosts, we talk with landscape architect Dayton Rush to learn more about the connection between our natural and built environments. Designing office spaces to better use sunlight, views of the outside world, and other natural elements can help teams work to their fullest potential, while also nurturing our individual wellbeing.

About Our Guest
Based in Billings, MT, Dayton Rush is a landscape architect who lives for plants. He has extensive experience with — and loves — roof gardens, greenhouses, living walls, and interior plants. Dayton is also deeply knowledgeable about plant preservation and disease prevention, green infrastructure, and site design. And to round out his plant addiction, he also dabbles with floral arrangement.

Link: Episode Transcript

Probably haven’t thought much about what makes your AC or your refrigerator work, have you? Well, if those systems spring a leak — it’s very bad news. On this episode of Good, Thoughtful Hosts, we explore what exactly a refrigerant is, how it can be harmful to the environment if it escapes into the atmosphere, and what some eco-friendly options may be.

About Our Guest
Nick is a mechanical engineer who specifies in refrigeration engineering and serves as co-director of Cushing Terrell’s Refrigeration service sector. He’s a graduate of Montana State University and a lifelong resident of Missoula, MT. His expertise spans virtually all market types but is especially applicable in retail settings.

Link: Episode Transcript

In our debut episode, we discuss the concept of reimagining existing and sometimes historic structures, a practice known as adaptive reuse. Ava Alltmont, an architect and project manager who leads Cushing Terrell’s historic preservation team in New Orleans, helps us better understand what adaptive reuse means, who benefits, and how it all works.

About Our Guest
Based in New Orleans, Ava’s background is in mixed-use developments, multi-family, hospitality, retail, and education projects, with extensive experience in historic renovations, adaptive reuse, and historic tax credit projects. She serves on the Louisiana state selection committee for the National Register of Historic Places and is a fierce advocate of advancing women in the AEC industry.

Link: Episode Transcript

How do you build a better school for tomorrow’s leaders? How do you design an office for hybrid work models? How do you combat climate change with a grocery store? Well, if we take a cue from Charles Eames, it’s by thinking of that environment’s users as your guests. The role of the designer, he once said, is that of a very good, thoughtful host, anticipating the needs of their guests.

In a new podcast from Cushing Terrell, moderator Sarah Steimer will be talking with architects, engineers, and planners about how they can anticipate the needs of others in our built environment. From apartment buildings to supermarkets to entire cities, how are designers ensuring accessibility, inclusivity, sustainability, and basic comfort for a modern world? Join us as we explore how to solve for today by welcoming lessons from the past and visions of the future, playing the role of good, thoughtful hosts.