The Designer's Guide to Netflix: 12 Must-watch Shows and Movies

Aside from being a go-to source for procrastination, Netflix is also a treasure trove of inspiration for designers. With their library being updated almost daily—remember when Orange is the New Black was the hot show?—it’s hard to keep up with what’s really worth watching. From neuroscience to documentaries to lost footage, all of these shows will spark your imagination and leave you amazed at what the human mind can accomplish. If you decide to binge them all in one week, don’t blame us for falling behind on your projects. Created by: Scott Dadlich Seasons: 1 Episodes: 8 Runtime: 42-48 minutes This Netflix original docu-series, created by former WIRED editor Scott Dadlich, is a global sampler of the men and women who animate everything from screens to shoes. Each episode stands as its own documentary film, highlighting design visionaries like Nike designer Tinker Hatfield. Abstract isn’t just about storytelling, though: it illustrates the intent behind the amazing objects around us—which many take for granted—and the decisions from which they originated. Our favorite episodes: “Paula Scher: Graphic Design” — Abstract documents the work of Paula Scher, an American graphic designer who served as the first female principal at Pentagram. “Christoph Niemann: Illustrator” — Over the past two decades, Nieman has sketched everything from New Yorker covers to Google’s “Doodle of the Day.” This episode is a window into the mind of one of the world’s most successful illustrators. Directors: Jennifer Beamish, Toby Trackman Starring: David Eagleman Runtime: 52 minutes To some people, creative genius might appear to be a superpower reserved for an elite few. But David Eagleman makes it his mission to dispel that myth in his documentary The Creative Brain.  Eagleman, a neuroscientist and professor at Stanford University, taps into the minds of creators like prolific architect Bjarke Ingels and musical artist Grimes to unravel their thought processes and explore how each of us can unleash our own creative breakthroughs. Eagleman’s premise is that being original isn’t about pulling ideas out of thin air: it’s about cobbling together existing ideas to create something remarkable.  Director: Leslie Iwerks Interviewees: Steve Jobs, Tom Hanks, Michael Eisner, and more Runtime: 88 minutes In the mid-1980s, a trio of Bay Area idealists combined their talents in art, science, and business to launch a company that would define entertainment for the foreseeable future. Those three people were Ed Catmull, John Lasseter, and Steve Jobs. Their company was Pixar. The Pixar Story takes viewers behind the scenes to witness the creative struggle and determination that fueled the next-level animation technology which revolutionized Hollywood. The film stitches together never-before-seen footage and exclusive interviews with pivotal people including Tim Allen and Tom Hanks to chronicle Pixar’s journey from startup to paradigm shifter. Director: Vlad Yudlin Starring: Jeremy Scott, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, ASAP Rocky, and more Runtime: 108 minutes How do you go from farm boy to creative director of one of the world’s most prestigious fashion brands? Just ask Jeremy Scott. Growing up in rural Missouri, Scott had dreams of becoming a fashion icon. But before realizing that dream, he would endure constant rejection, ridicule, and even homelessness before his crowning achievement: becoming Moschino’s creative director. This rags-to-riches documentary encapsulates the grit required to carve a name for oneself as a creative, with fascinating detours into the minutiae of the fashion industry. Director: Alison Klayman Starring: Carmen Herrera Runtime: 29 minutes Carmen Herrera sketches every morning beside the window of her New York City apartment. A world-renowned painter, her minimalist works are on exhibit at major institutions such as MoMA and Tate Modern. London’s The Observer…

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