Nate Peters — Design for Good
Simplify your life. Do less, better.



Nate Peters on democratizing design tools and using his design skills for good, dealing with internet junk, potential misuses of machine learning, and more.

Nate Peters is a computational designer and software developer with experience in design optimization, digital fabrication, and machine learning. Nate received his Master of Design Studies in Technology from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and his Bachelor of Architecture from Iowa State University. Currently he works in Boston as a software engineer in Autodesk’s AEC Generative Design Group. At Autodesk he has assisted in the design and construction of multiple large scale research pavilions, and is currently focused on Project Refinery, a new generative design tool for architects and engineers in the building industry.


Connect with Nate on NathanPeters.us, on Twitter at @_natepeters, and on Instagram at @nate_peters.


Favorite quotes

  • "If you chase something you enjoy doing the money would follow, if that's what you're really looking for."
  • "It's rare for really good design to come from total isolation."
  • "There is something therapeutic about having the same exact motions every single day."

Episode links


People mentioned


Episode notes

  • Intro. [0:48]
  • Part I. [1:07]
  • Nate Peters. [1:42]
  • The studio culture. [6:47]
  • Public speaking. [9:15]
  • Democratizing design tools. [13:35]
  • Letting others use your tools. [16:03]
  • Learning process. [18:56]
  • Planned or not. [20:05]
  • Software. [20:58]
  • Enabling designers. [22:40]
  • Open source. [24:37]
  • Work-in-progress and documentation. [26:03]
  • Digital management. [27:50]
  • Cloud storage. [28:48]
  • iCloud. [29:31]
  • Internet junk. [30:33]
  • Disconnection. [32:14]
  • Open plan and meetings. [33:22]
  • A creative environment. [34:19]
  • Part II. [36:10]
  • Routine. [36:20]
  • Define yourself. [37:30]
  • Daily habits. [37:59]
  • Yoga and meditation. [38:58]
  • Podcast and book recommendations. [39:40]
  • Making things with my hands. [41:00]
  • Deploying apps to the cloud. [42:08]
  • Boredom. [43:07]
  • Healthy relationship with tech. [44:11]
  • Paranoia. [46:03]
  • Design automation. [51:54]
  • Misusing artificial intelligence. [54:50]
  • Success. [59:06]
  • A person who influenced you. [1:00:37]
  • Role models. [1:01:53]
  • Making for others. [1:03:04]
  • A message to the world. [1:04:08]
  • An actual hobby. [1:05:22]
  • Slowing down. [1:06:10]
  • Quality. [1:06:32]
  • Learning. [1:07:23]
  • Physical clutter. [1:09:05]
  • Financial independence. [1:10:26]
  • A personal uniform. [1:11:43]
  • Distributing money. [1:12:49]
  • A book. [1:13:31]
  • Low cut socks. [1:14:15]
  • Ten years from now. [1:14:54]
  • Connect with Nate. [1:15:51]
  • Your favorite episode. [1:16:18]
  • Outro. [1:16:31]

Thanks for listening!


Enjoying Getting Simple? Spread the word, Rate the podcast, or share this episode on Twitter or Facebook.

Theme song Sleep by Steve Combs, under Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 US.

October 28, 2019

Podcast