Public Television : Season 12

About Season 12

Follow the journeys of three students-all drawn to design-as they travel across the country interviewing leaders in the field of design to gain guidance for their own future paths. Starting their journey on one coast and ending up on the other, the road-trippers talk to everyone from animators to guitar-makers, jet-pack entrepreneurs, and the sound designer for Star Wars to hear the challenges they faced, the fears they tackled, and the conviction that carried them in their quest for meaningful work. Throughout 6 weeks and 6,300 miles, the advice collected on the road compels the road-trippers to think more broadly about their possibilities and launch into the next chapters of their lives.


  • Episode 1: Whirlwind of Awesomeness

    The keys to the Green RV go to three new road-trippers, all interested in design, who kick-start their cross-country journey of self-discovery with a visit to the art-tech spectacle of Two Bit Circus, where founders Brent Bushnell and Eric Gradman share their story of dabbling across domains and finding inspiration at the intersection of their interests.

  • Episode 2: East Meets West

    The East Coast born-and-bred road-trippers experience a totally foreign way of life-laidback and Californian-as they ride jet packs, talk to the creator of Frozen's Elsa in L.A., and venture north to Ventura where Patagonia designer John Rapp instructs them in the relaxed ways of West Coast work-life, finding what you love and digging in, and creating balance wherever you are.

  • Episode 3: Finding Contentment

    In Oakland, Snap Judgment host Glynn Washington tells a story of fleeing his comfort zone and moving to Japan, where he found an unexpected teacher and an unexpected calling when he accidentally bought dog food for dinner one night. Santa Cruz Guitar founder Richard Hoover shares his philosophy of teaching and service and leads the road-trippers into Santa Cruz's misty, magical redwood forest.

  • Episode 4: Challenge the Status Quo

    The road-trippers head to Skywalker Ranch, where Star Wars sound designer Ben Burtt recounts driving cross-country to California twice before his dreams of being a sound designer beat back his fear of change; plus Pixar animator Ralph Eggleston on getting beyond the world you inhabit and going deeper into what interests you, and Janice Levenhagen-Seeley of ChickTech on challenging the status quo.

  • Episode 5: The Answer is Within You

    The road-trippers explore the Experience Music Project in Seattle, where experience designer Andrea Weatherhead advises that the best path toward happiness is getting to know yourself. In Colorado, the team meets interior designer Eiko Okura, who urges them to stop overthinking and see what emerges, and Michael Franti, who advocates for making lots of decisions and seeing what sticks.

  • Episode 6: Make it Your Own

    The road-trippers try their hand at spinning molten glass with glassblower Jessica Schimpf. The world isn't looking for you, she says, you have to go out and find it--she left a big-time welding gig to follow her dreams. In Texas, the team interviews Austonites on the street and goes for beignets and palm readings in New Orleans before hitting crowd-powered T-shirt purveyor Threadless in Chicago.

  • Episode 7: Deciding What's Next

    In Chicago, the team meets exhibition designer Olivia Castellini, a physics Ph.D. whose job combines her super-varied interests in science and the arts. In NYC, unstoppable inventor-turned-entrepreneur Ben Kaufman recounts flying to China to make his first product before he'd even graduated from high school and shares why it's important to strike the right balance between jerk and pushover.

  • Episode 8: Everything is Design

    The trip ends in NYC as the team meets designer Tina Roth Eisenberg, who left her tiny village in Switzerland to find her people in New York. Last up, Helvetica director Gary Hustwit on the philosophy that connects all design: moving things forward. Though the road-trippers' forward movement on the Green RV ends here, nothing about what they've learned on this journey is over.


  • Design Roadtrip