mic

99% Invisible

Roman Mars

Design is everywhere in our lives, perhaps most importantly in the places where we've just stopped noticing. 99% Invisible is a weekly exploration of the process and power of design and architecture. From award winning producer Roman Mars. Learn more at 99percentinvisible.org. A proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Learn more at radiotopia.fm.

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27:39

329- Orphan Drugs

99% Invisible Wed, 14 Nov 2018 00:20:06 -0000

We chronicle the epic struggle to get drugs that treat very rare diseases on the market, and the unintended consequ...

32:50

328- Devolutionary Design

99% Invisible Tue, 06 Nov 2018 23:31:59 -0000

It’s hard to overstate just how important record album art was to music in the days before people downloaded everyt...

32:24

327- A Year in the Dark

99% Invisible Wed, 31 Oct 2018 02:43:49 -0000

Early on the morning of September 20th, 2017, a category four hurricane named Maria hit the island of Puerto Rico....

28:42

326- Welcome to Jurassic Art

99% Invisible Tue, 23 Oct 2018 23:56:10 -0000

At least for the time being, art is the primary way we experience dinosaurs. We can study bones and fossils, but ba...

31:07

325- The Worst Way to Start a City

99% Invisible Tue, 16 Oct 2018 22:02:15 -0000

Sam Anderson, author of Boom Town, guides us through the chaotic founding of Oklahoma City, which happened...

30:48

Punk Style: Articles of Interest #6

99% Invisible Fri, 12 Oct 2018 18:59:03 -0000

There is this myth that it’s frivolous or unproductive to care about how you look. Clothing and fashion get trivial...

26:10

Blue Jeans: Articles of Interest #5

99% Invisible Tue, 09 Oct 2018 20:46:01 -0000

For the most part, we tend to keep our clothes relatively clean and avoid spills and rips and tears. But denim is s...

23:18

Hawaiian Shirts: Articles of Interest #4

99% Invisible Fri, 05 Oct 2018 18:13:53 -0000

There are a few ways to tell if you’re looking at an authentic, high-quality aloha shirt. If the pockets match the...

21:13

Pockets: Articles of Interest #3

99% Invisible Tue, 02 Oct 2018 22:11:42 -0000

Womenswear is littered with fake pockets that don’t open, or shallow pockets that can hardly hold more than a paper...

18:55

Plaid: Articles of Interest #2

99% Invisible Fri, 28 Sep 2018 20:56:42 -0000

Lumberjacks wore plaid. Punks wore plaid mini skirts. The Beach Boys used to be called the Pendletones, and they wo...

23:52

Kids' Clothes: Articles of Interest #1

99% Invisible Tue, 25 Sep 2018 20:07:32 -0000

Clothes are records of the bodies we’ve lived in. Think of the old sweater that you used to have that's just not yo...

28:49

324- Billboard Boys: The Greatest Radio Contest of All Time

99% Invisible Wed, 19 Sep 2018 00:59:47 -0000

The year was 1982, and in the small city of Allentown on the eastern edge of Pennsylvania sat an AM radio station c...

32:11

323- The House that Came in the Mail

99% Invisible Tue, 11 Sep 2018 23:29:38 -0000

The Sear & Roebuck Mail Order Catalog was nearly omnipresent in early twentieth century American life. By 1908, one...

24:49

322- The First Straw

99% Invisible Wed, 05 Sep 2018 00:06:44 -0000

A straw is a simple thing. It’s a tube, a conveyance mechanism for liquid. The defining characteristic of the straw...

25:41

321- Double Standards

99% Invisible Wed, 29 Aug 2018 00:39:33 -0000

Blepharoplasty is often done to lift loose or sagging skin around the upper eyelids caused by aging. But for a lot...

42:43

320- Bundyville

99% Invisible Tue, 21 Aug 2018 23:25:27 -0000

Most of the American west is owned by the Federal Government. About 85 percent of Nevada, 61 percent of Alaska, 53...

35:53

319- It's Chinatown

99% Invisible Tue, 14 Aug 2018 21:25:32 -0000

For Americans, the sight of pagoda roofs and dragon gates means that you are in Chinatown. Whether in San Francisco...

30:25

318- Fire and Rain

99% Invisible Wed, 08 Aug 2018 00:02:22 -0000

Nestled between the mountains and the ocean, right next to Santa Barbara, sits Montecito, California. The region en...

31:54

317- Built to Burn

99% Invisible Wed, 01 Aug 2018 01:27:07 -0000

After the massive Panorama Fire in southern California in 1980, a young fire researcher named Jack Cohen went in to...

27:53

316- The Shipping Forecast

99% Invisible Wed, 25 Jul 2018 02:41:03 -0000

Four times every day, on radios all across the British Isles, a BBC announcer begins reading from a seemingly indec...

32:03

315- Everything is Alive

99% Invisible Wed, 18 Jul 2018 00:04:30 -0000

Louis is a can of generic cola. He’s been on the shelf a long while, so he’s had some time to think. Go2 is a store...

32:05

314- Interrobang

99% Invisible Tue, 10 Jul 2018 23:55:49 -0000

In the spring of 1962, an ad man named Martin Speckter was thinking about advertising when he realized something: m...

31:30

Roman Mars on ZigZag

99% Invisible Thu, 05 Jul 2018 20:10:38 -0000

This is a special presentation of episode #4 of Radiotopia's newest show ZigZag. Manoush and Jen give thems...

0

VIDEO- Why Danger Symbols Can't Last Forever with Vox

99% Invisible Wed, 04 Jul 2018 00:20:04 -0000

The world is full of icons that warn us to be afraid — to stay away from this or not do that. And many of these are...

28:21

313- Right to Roam

99% Invisible Wed, 27 Jun 2018 00:05:15 -0000

In the United Kingdom, the freedom to walk through private land is known as “the right to roam.” The movement to wi...

37:24

312- Post-Narco Urbanism

99% Invisible Wed, 20 Jun 2018 02:19:50 -0000

In the 1980s, Pablo Escobar, the notorious drug lord, had effectively declared war on the Colombian state. At one p...

22:36

311- The Barney Design

99% Invisible Wed, 13 Jun 2018 00:40:50 -0000

Until the early 90s, basketball uniforms were pretty tame. There had been real limits to what could be done with je...

23:57

310- 77 Steps

99% Invisible Wed, 06 Jun 2018 03:24:09 -0000

As the U.S. war effort ramped up in the early 1940s, the Navy put out a request for chair design submissions. They...

27:06

309- The Vault

99% Invisible Wed, 30 May 2018 00:22:53 -0000

Svalbard is a remote Norwegian archipelago with reindeer, Arctic foxes and only around 2,500 humans -- but it is al...

45:14

308- Curb Cuts

99% Invisible Wed, 23 May 2018 00:23:08 -0000

If you live in an American city and you don’t personally use a wheelchair, it's easy to overlook the small ramp at...

28:50

307- Immobile Homes

99% Invisible Wed, 16 May 2018 03:23:36 -0000

"Part of the paradox at the heart of manufactured housing," explains Esther Sullivan, a sociologist at the Universi...

39:03

306- Breaking Bad News

99% Invisible Wed, 09 May 2018 02:20:37 -0000

When a doctor reveals a terminal diagnosis to a patient -- that process is as delicate a procedure as any surgery,...

39:58

305- The Laff Box

99% Invisible Tue, 01 May 2018 23:21:25 -0000

For nearly five decades, the laugh track was ubiquitous on television sitcoms, but in the early 2000s, it began to...

25:22

304- Gander International Airport

99% Invisible Wed, 25 Apr 2018 00:13:33 -0000

The Gander Airport in Newfoundland was once the easternmost airfield in North America, so when transatlantic air tr...

23:10

303- The Hair Chart

99% Invisible Tue, 17 Apr 2018 23:36:18 -0000

Andre Walker became famous for being Oprah Winfrey’s hair stylist, but he is also known for something else: a syste...

33:19

302- Lessons from Las Vegas

99% Invisible Tue, 10 Apr 2018 23:57:40 -0000

To this day, architects tend to turn their noses up at Las Vegas, or simply dismiss it as irrelevant to serious des...

28:22

301- Making it Rain

99% Invisible Tue, 03 Apr 2018 23:24:47 -0000

The battlefield has always been at the mercy of the climate, but there was a time in U.S. military history when we...

19:13

300- Airships and the Future that Never Was

99% Invisible Tue, 27 Mar 2018 22:29:17 -0000

They are hulking, but graceful -- human-made whales that float in the air. For over a century, lighter-than-air veh...

44:51

299- Gerrymandering

99% Invisible Wed, 21 Mar 2018 00:06:06 -0000

The way we draw our political districts has a huge effect on U.S. politics, but the process is also greatly misunde...

24:15

200- Miss Manhattan Redux

99% Invisible Wed, 14 Mar 2018 00:07:00 -0000

All around the country, there stands a figure so much a part of historical architecture and urban landscapes that s...

30:11

298- Fordlandia

99% Invisible Wed, 07 Mar 2018 01:13:22 -0000

In the late 1920s, the Ford Motor Company bought up millions of acres of land in Brazil. They loaded boats with mac...

33:01

297- Blood, Sweat and Tears (City of the Future, Part 2)

99% Invisible Wed, 28 Feb 2018 00:56:30 -0000

The Bijlmermeer (or Bijlmer, for short) was built just outside of Amsterdam in the 1960s. It was designed by modern...

23:29

296- Bijlmer (City of the Future, Part 1)

99% Invisible Wed, 21 Feb 2018 00:36:18 -0000

After World War 2, city planners in Amsterdam wanted to design the perfect “City of the Future.” They decided to bu...

27:11

295- Making a Mark: Visual Identity with Tom Geismar

99% Invisible Tue, 13 Feb 2018 19:42:35 -0000

The Chase logo was introduced in 1961, when the Chase National Bank and the Bank of the Manhattan Company merged to...

28:48

294- Border Wall

99% Invisible Tue, 06 Feb 2018 22:59:46 -0000

When current President Donald Trump took office, he promised to build an “an impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful...

31:42

293- Managed Retreat

99% Invisible Wed, 31 Jan 2018 02:16:33 -0000

In the 1970s it looked like the beloved, 200-year-old Cape Hatteras lighthouse was in danger. The sea was getting c...

31:36

292- Speech Bubbles: Understanding Comics with Scott McCloud

99% Invisible Tue, 23 Jan 2018 23:47:54 -0000

Cartoonist and theorist Scott McCloud has been making and thinking about comics for decades. He is the author of <e...

28:40

291- Thermal Delight

99% Invisible Wed, 17 Jan 2018 00:51:10 -0000

When air conditioning was invented in 1902, it was designed to take out the humidity in the air so printers could r...

39:48

290- Mini-Stories: Volume 4

99% Invisible Wed, 10 Jan 2018 01:05:39 -0000

This part two of the 2017/2018 mini-stories episodes, where Roman interviews the staff and our collaborators about...

0

Biomimicry- Vox + 99% Invisible Video

99% Invisible Tue, 02 Jan 2018 23:13:32 -0000

Japan’s Shinkansen doesn’t look like your typical train. With its long and pointed nose, it can reach top speeds up...

37:47

289- Mini-Stories: Volume 3

99% Invisible Wed, 20 Dec 2017 00:14:47 -0000

It’s the end of the year and time for our annual Mini-stories episodes. Mini-stories are quick hit stories that wer...

20:39

288- Guerrilla Public Service Redux

99% Invisible Tue, 12 Dec 2017 22:33:02 -0000

In the early morning of August 5, 2001, artist Richard Ankrom and a group of friends assembled on the 4th Street br...

31:35

287- The Nut Behind the Wheel

99% Invisible Tue, 05 Dec 2017 22:58:46 -0000

In the past fifty years, the car crash death rate has dropped by nearly 80 percent in the United States. And one of...

53:48

286- A 700-Foot Mountain of Whipped Cream

99% Invisible Tue, 28 Nov 2017 21:03:36 -0000

While the 1960s shift in print and TV advertising has been heavily documented and mythologized by Mad Men, Madison...

19:53

285- Money Makers

99% Invisible Tue, 21 Nov 2017 22:05:55 -0000

For a long time, anti-counterfeiting laws made it illegal to show US currency in movies. Now you can show real mone...

26:35

284- Hero Props: Graphic Design in Film & Television

99% Invisible Tue, 14 Nov 2017 22:57:08 -0000

When a new movie comes out, most of the praise goes to the director and the lead actors, but there are so many othe...

27:55

283- Dollhouses of St. Louis

99% Invisible Tue, 07 Nov 2017 16:25:14 -0000

Back in the 1950s, St. Louis was segregated and The Ville was one of the only African-American neighborhoods in the...

29:05

282- Oyster-tecture

99% Invisible Tue, 31 Oct 2017 22:25:16 -0000

New York was built at the mouth of the Hudson River, and that fertile estuary environment was filled with all kinds...

31:40

281- La Sagrada Familia

99% Invisible Wed, 25 Oct 2017 01:30:00 -0000

There are a lot of Gothic churches in Spain, but this one is different. It doesn’t look like a Gothic cathedral. It...

25:38

280- Half Measures

99% Invisible Wed, 18 Oct 2017 07:00:00 -0000

The United States is one of just a handful of countries that that isn’t officially metric. Instead, Americans measu...

24:35

279- The Containment Plan

99% Invisible Wed, 11 Oct 2017 03:30:00 -0000

It’s hard to overstate the vastness of the Skid Row neighborhood in Los Angeles. It spans roughly 50 blocks, which...

23:35

278- The Athletic Brassiere

99% Invisible Tue, 03 Oct 2017 23:13:42 -0000

Among the most important advances in sports technology, few can compete with the invention of the sports bra. Follo...

29:06

277- Ponte City Tower

99% Invisible Tue, 26 Sep 2017 17:29:10 -0000

Ponte City Tower, the brutalist cylindrical high-rise that towers over Johannesburg, has gone from a symbol of whit...

28:38

276- The Finnish Experiment

99% Invisible Tue, 19 Sep 2017 21:14:13 -0000

Around the world, there is a lot of buzz around the idea of universal basic income (also known as “unconditional ba...

19:23

275- Coal Hogs Work Safe

99% Invisible Tue, 12 Sep 2017 22:14:40 -0000

Coal miner stickers started out as little advertisements that the manufacturers of mining equipment handed out. Eve...

21:02

274- The Age of the Algorithm

99% Invisible Tue, 05 Sep 2017 23:45:54 -0000

Computer algorithms now shape our world in profound and mostly invisible ways. They predict if we’ll be valuable cu...

13:02

273- Notes on an Imagined Plaque

99% Invisible Tue, 29 Aug 2017 21:47:20 -0000

Monuments don’t just appear in the wake of someone’s death — they are erected for reasons specific to a time and pl...

27:57

272- Person in Lotus Position

99% Invisible Tue, 22 Aug 2017 21:13:02 -0000

Tech analysts estimate that over six billion emojis are sent each day. Emojis, which started off as a collection of...

24:24

271- The Great Dismal Swamp

99% Invisible Tue, 15 Aug 2017 22:42:25 -0000

On the border of Virginia and North Carolina stretches a great, dismal swamp. The Great Dismal Swamp, actually — th...

19:09

270- The Stethoscope

99% Invisible Wed, 09 Aug 2017 01:09:48 -0000

Imagine for a moment the year 1800. A doctor is meeting with a patient – most likely in the patient’s home. The pat...

37:31

269- Ways of Hearing

99% Invisible Tue, 01 Aug 2017 23:39:13 -0000

When the tape started rolling in old analog recording studios, there was a feeling that musicians were about to cap...

22:50

268- El Gordo

99% Invisible Tue, 25 Jul 2017 18:04:57 -0000

In Spain, they do the lottery differently. First of all, it’s a country-wide obsession — about 75% of Spaniards buy...

52:10

267- The Trials of Dan and Dave

99% Invisible Tue, 18 Jul 2017 23:55:45 -0000

This is the story of an ad campaign produced for the 1992 Olympic games in Barcelona. Perennial runner-up in the sp...

17:49

266- Repackaging the Pill

99% Invisible Tue, 11 Jul 2017 22:45:33 -0000

Most people are familiar with at least one version of the birth control pill’s packaging — a round plastic disc whi...

30:30

265- The Pool and the Stream

99% Invisible Tue, 04 Jul 2017 21:27:03 -0000

This is the story of a curvy, kidney-shaped swimming pool born in Northern Europe that had a huge ripple effect on...

21:55

264- Mexico 68

99% Invisible Tue, 27 Jun 2017 21:10:37 -0000

The 1968 Olympics took place in Mexico City, Mexico. It was the first games ever hosted in a Latin American country...

25:34

263- You Should Do a Story

99% Invisible Tue, 20 Jun 2017 19:01:27 -0000

“You should do a story…” is the first line to a lot of the conversations you have when you work at 99pi. This week...

24:41

262- In the Same Ballpark

99% Invisible Tue, 13 Jun 2017 23:02:41 -0000

In the 1992, the Baltimore Orioles opened their baseball season at a brand new stadium called Oriole Park at Camden...

11:23

Intro to a new Roman Mars podcast: What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law

99% Invisible Thu, 08 Jun 2017 20:53:04 -0000

Special introductory episode to a new podcast produced by Roman Mars and Elizabeth Joh. Professor Elizabeth Joh tea...

19:37

199- The Yin and Yang of Basketball

99% Invisible Wed, 07 Jun 2017 00:42:35 -0000

In 1891, a physical education teacher in Springfield, Massachusetts invented the game we would come to know as bask...

22:55

261- Squatters of the Lower East Side

99% Invisible Tue, 30 May 2017 22:34:04 -0000

In 1987, three years after moving to New York City, Maggie Wrigley found herself on the edge of homelessness. She w...

19:12

260- New Jersey

99% Invisible Tue, 23 May 2017 21:31:12 -0000

The Brazilian soccer shirt is iconic. Its bright canary yellow with green trim, worn with blue shorts, is known wor...

27:13

259- This Is Chance: Anchorwoman of the Great Alaska Earthquake

99% Invisible Tue, 16 May 2017 22:01:53 -0000

This episode was recorded live as part of the Radiotopia West Coast Tour. It was the middle of the night on March 2...

17:36

258- The Modern Necropolis

99% Invisible Tue, 09 May 2017 23:06:35 -0000

In the town of Colma, California, the dead outnumber the living by a thousand to one. Located just ten miles south...

25:28

257- Reversing the Grid

99% Invisible Tue, 02 May 2017 21:49:54 -0000

For most people, electricity only flows one way (into the home), but there are exceptions — people who use solar pa...

22:42

256- Sounds Natural

99% Invisible Tue, 18 Apr 2017 22:28:00 -0000

In most wildlife films, the sounds you hear were not recorded while the cameras were rolling. Most filmmakers use l...

19:47

255- The Architect of Hollywood

99% Invisible Tue, 11 Apr 2017 03:45:43 -0000

Los Angeles is rich with architectural diversity. On the same block, you could find a retro-futuristic Googie diner...

30:27

254- Containers

99% Invisible Tue, 04 Apr 2017 18:24:31 -0000

We’re based in beautiful downtown Oakland, CA which is a port city in the San Francisco Bay. Massive container ship...

23:55

253- Manzanar

99% Invisible Tue, 28 Mar 2017 22:18:42 -0000

When Warren Furutani was growing up in Los Angeles in the 1950s, he sometimes heard his parents refer to a place wh...

22:53

252- The Falling of the Lenins

99% Invisible Tue, 21 Mar 2017 21:57:55 -0000

On the night of December 8, 2013, a huge crowd gathered on a tree-lined boulevard in downtown Kiev, Ukraine. The cr...

44:34

251- Negative Space: Logo Design with Michael Bierut

99% Invisible Tue, 14 Mar 2017 21:59:36 -0000

Logos used to be a thing people didn’t really give much thought to. But over the last decade, the volume and intens...

27:56

250- State (Sanctuary, Part 2)

99% Invisible Wed, 08 Mar 2017 00:27:42 -0000

In the 1980s, the United States experienced a refugee crisis. Thousands of Central Americans were fleeing civil war...

26:41

249- Church (Sanctuary, Part 1)

99% Invisible Tue, 28 Feb 2017 23:47:45 -0000

In the 1980s, Rev. John Fife and his congregation at Southside Presbyterian Church began to help Central American m...

17:57

248- Atom in the Garden of Eden

99% Invisible Tue, 21 Feb 2017 22:11:33 -0000

As the world entered the Atomic Age, humankind faced a new fear that permeated just about every aspect of daily lif...

18:41

247- Usonia the Beautiful

99% Invisible Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:52:16 -0000

Frank Lloyd Wright believed that the buildings we live in shape the kinds of people we become. His aim was nothing...

24:39

246- Usonia 1

99% Invisible Tue, 07 Feb 2017 21:52:47 -0000

Frank Lloyd Wright was a bombastic character that ultimately changed the field of architecture, and not just throug...

27:58

245- The Eponymist

99% Invisible Wed, 01 Feb 2017 00:31:12 -0000

Eponym (noun): A person after whom a discovery, invention, place, etc., is named or thought to be named; a name or...

17:52

244- The Revolutionary Post

99% Invisible Tue, 24 Jan 2017 22:28:33 -0000

Winifred Gallagher, author of How the Post Office Created America: A History, argues that the post office is not si...

19:40

243- Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle

99% Invisible Wed, 18 Jan 2017 00:41:26 -0000

On January 3, 1979, two officers from the Los Angeles Police Department went to the home of Eulia May Love, a 39-ye...

29:36

242- Mini-Stories: Volume 2

99% Invisible Tue, 10 Jan 2017 22:02:06 -0000

Part 2 where host Roman Mars talks to the 99pi producers about their favorite “Mini-Stories.” These are little anec...

27:17

241- Mini-Stories: Volume 1

99% Invisible Tue, 20 Dec 2016 17:47:37 -0000

<p>Host Roman Mars talks to the 99pi producers about their favorite “Mini-Stories.” These are little anecdotes or seeds of...

17:00

240- Plat of Zion

99% Invisible Wed, 14 Dec 2016 00:41:26 -0000

<p>The urban grid of Salt Lake City, Utah is designed to tell you exactly where you are in relation to Temple Square, one...

18:45

239- Guano Island

99% Invisible Tue, 06 Dec 2016 23:10:42 -0000

<p>In 2014, President Obama expanded the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, making it the largest marine pre...

13:02

238- NBC Chimes

99% Invisible Tue, 29 Nov 2016 22:07:56 -0000

<p>The NBC chimes may be the most famous sound in broadcasting. Originating in the 1920s, the three key sequential notes a...

15:58

237- Dollar Store Town

99% Invisible Wed, 23 Nov 2016 03:44:38 -0000

<p>Dollar stores are not just a U.S. phenomenon. They can be found in Australia and the United Kingdom, the Middle East an...

18:48

236- Reverb

99% Invisible Wed, 16 Nov 2016 02:47:56 -0000

<p>Through a combination of passive and active acoustics, architects and acousticians can control the sounds of spaces to...

13:59

235- Ten Letters for the President

99% Invisible Tue, 08 Nov 2016 04:20:24 -0000

<p>People who write the White House know that the president himself will most likely not see their message. Many of their...

16:21

234- The Shift

99% Invisible Tue, 01 Nov 2016 23:04:36 -0000

<p>Every now and again, a truly great athlete shatters all previous assumptions about what’s possible to achieve in a spor...

16:34

233- Space Trash, Space Treasure

99% Invisible Tue, 25 Oct 2016 19:04:05 -0000

<p>In the summer of 1961 the upper stage of the rocket carrying the Transit 4A satellite blew up about two hours after lau...

13:19

232- McMansion Hell

99% Invisible Tue, 18 Oct 2016 16:44:35 -0000

<p>Few forms of contemporary architecture draw as much criticism as the McMansion, a particular type of oversized house th...

18:02

231- Half a House

99% Invisible Tue, 11 Oct 2016 18:59:57 -0000

<p>On the night of February 27th, 2010, a magnitude of 8.8 earthquake hit Constitución, Chile and it was the second bigges...

21:02

230- Project Cybersyn

99% Invisible Tue, 04 Oct 2016 23:47:12 -0000

<p>On September 11, 1973, a military junta violently took control of Chile, which was led at the time by President Salvado...

18:29

124- Longbox

99% Invisible Tue, 27 Sep 2016 22:54:26 -0000

<p>Reporter Whitney Jones argues that R.E.M.’s Out of Time is the most politically significant album in the history of the...

15:31

229- The Trend Forecast

99% Invisible Tue, 20 Sep 2016 23:40:13 -0000

<p>Who decides that the color this season is “mint green” or that denim jackets are “back?” Of course, there’s top-down fa...

18:46

228- Making Up Ground

99% Invisible Tue, 13 Sep 2016 19:21:35 -0000

<p>Large portions of San Francisco, New York City, Boston, Seattle, Hong Kong and Marseilles were built on top of human ma...

13:19

227- Public Works

99% Invisible Tue, 06 Sep 2016 22:15:49 -0000

<p>Infrastructure makes modern civilization possible. Roads, power grids, sewage systems and water networks all underpin s...

17:40

226- On Average

99% Invisible Tue, 23 Aug 2016 23:53:38 -0000

<p>In many ways, the built world was not designed for you. It was designed for the average person. Standardized tests, bui...

18:39

225- Photo Credit

99% Invisible Wed, 17 Aug 2016 00:30:35 -0000

<p>Founded by architect Walter Gropius in 1919, the Bauhaus school in Germany would go on to shape modern architecture, ar...

17:34

224- A Sea Worth its Salt

99% Invisible Tue, 09 Aug 2016 19:01:59 -0000

<p>The largest body of water in California was formed by a mistake. In 1905, the California Development Company accidental...

32:42

223- The Magic Bureaucrat

99% Invisible Wed, 03 Aug 2016 02:16:10 -0000

<p>In 1996, President Bill Clinton and the Congress undertook a reform effort to redesign the welfare system from one that...

16:17

222- Combat Hearing Loss

99% Invisible Tue, 26 Jul 2016 23:45:31 -0000

<p>The US military buys a lot of foam ear plugs. Visit any base and you’ll find them under the bleachers at the firing ran...

19:21

221- America’s Last Top Model

99% Invisible Tue, 19 Jul 2016 20:12:26 -0000

<p>In 1943, the Army Corps of Engineers began construction on a scale model that could test flooding in all 1.25 million s...

21:30

220- The Mind of an Architect

99% Invisible Wed, 13 Jul 2016 02:46:49 -0000

<p>In the late 1950s, the Institute of Personality Assessment and Research embarked on a mission to study the personalitie...

13:59

219- Unpleasant Design

99% Invisible Wed, 06 Jul 2016 02:00:10 -0000

<p>Benches in parks, train stations, bus shelters and other public places are meant to offer seating, but only for a limit...

26:31

218- Remembering Stonewall

99% Invisible Wed, 29 Jun 2016 00:22:09 -0000

<p>It started with a place called the Stonewall Inn. Gay bars had been raided by police for decades. Gay, lesbian, bisexua...

26:07

217- Home on Lagrange

99% Invisible Wed, 22 Jun 2016 00:22:12 -0000

<p>In 1968, an Italian industrialist and a Scottish scientist started a club to address what they considered to be humanki...

21:41

216- The Blazer Experiment

99% Invisible Tue, 14 Jun 2016 23:24:37 -0000

<p>In 1968, the police department in Menlo Park, California hired a new police chief. His name was Victor Cizanckas and hi...

15:57

215- H-Day

99% Invisible Tue, 07 Jun 2016 22:15:22 -0000

<p>September 3rd, 1967, also known as H-Day, is etched in the collective memory of Sweden. That morning, millions of Swede...

16:04

130- Holdout

99% Invisible Tue, 31 May 2016 23:47:24 -0000

<p>Around 2005, a Seattle neighborhood called Ballard started to see unprecedented growth. Condominiums and apartment buil...

18:34

214- Loud and Clear

99% Invisible Wed, 25 May 2016 01:55:45 -0000

<p>Sub Pop Records has signed some of the most famous and influential indie bands of the last 30 years, including Nirvana,...

15:56

213- Separation Anxiety

99% Invisible Wed, 18 May 2016 01:42:44 -0000

<p>“Für Elise” is one of the world’s most widely-recognized pieces of music. The Beethoven melody has been played by piani...

27:26

212- Turf Wars of East New York

99% Invisible Wed, 11 May 2016 02:32:14 -0000

<p>Neighborhoods are constantly changing, but it tends to be the people with money and power who get to decide the shape o...

19:29

211- The Grand Dame of Broad Street

99% Invisible Wed, 04 May 2016 04:32:18 -0000

<p>The Bellevue-Stratford opened in 1904 and quickly became one of the most luxurious hotels of its time, rivaling the Wal...

26:30

210- Unseen City

99% Invisible Wed, 27 Apr 2016 01:30:03 -0000

<p>Humans form cities from concrete, metal, and glass, designing structures and infrastructure primarily to serve a single...

15:56

209- Supertall 101

99% Invisible Wed, 20 Apr 2016 01:57:49 -0000

<p>Starting in the late 1990s, the government of Taipei began looking into how they could turn global attention to their c...

22:17

208- Vox Ex Machina

99% Invisible Wed, 13 Apr 2016 02:40:58 -0000

<p>In 1939, an astonishing new machine debuted at the New York World’s Fair. It was called the “Voder,” short for “Voice O...

30:58

207- Soul City

99% Invisible Wed, 06 Apr 2016 01:26:41 -0000

<p>In the late 1960s, a civil rights leader named Floyd B. McKissick, at one time the head of CORE (the Congress on Racial...

34:47

206- The White Elephant Of Tel Aviv

99% Invisible Wed, 30 Mar 2016 01:58:49 -0000

<p>Israeli buses regularly make international headlines, be it for suicide bombings, fights over gender segregation, or cl...

14:58

205- Flying Food

99% Invisible Wed, 23 Mar 2016 01:43:19 -0000

<p>The last hundred years or so of food advertising have been shaped by this one simple fact: real food usually looks pret...

17:31

204- The SoHo Effect

99% Invisible Wed, 16 Mar 2016 02:04:36 -0000

<p>In San Francisco, the area South of Market Street is called SoMa. The part of town North of the Panhandle is known as N...

18:03

203- The Giftschrank

99% Invisible Wed, 09 Mar 2016 03:10:50 -0000

<p>Centuries ago, Germany came up with a way to keep books that contained “dangerous” information without releasing them t...

18:35

202- Mojave Phone Booth

99% Invisible Wed, 02 Mar 2016 00:50:35 -0000

<p>Situated in the middle of the Mojave desert, over a dozen miles from the nearest pavement, a lone phone booth sat along...

0

Video- The Norman Door with Vox

99% Invisible Sat, 27 Feb 2016 20:05:21 -0000

<p>There is an epidemic of terrible doors in the world. But when Don Norman got frustrated with them, he ended up changing...

19:49

201- The Green Book

99% Invisible Wed, 24 Feb 2016 02:18:22 -0000

<p>The middle of the 20th Century was a golden age for road travel in the United States. Cars had become cheap and spaciou...

16:50

200- Miss Manhattan

99% Invisible Wed, 17 Feb 2016 00:53:56 -0000

<p>All around the country, there stands a figure so much a part of historical architecture and urban landscapes that she i...

19:17

199- The Yin and Yang of Basketball

99% Invisible Wed, 10 Feb 2016 01:59:44 -0000

<p>In 1891, a physical education teacher in Springfield, Massachusetts invented the game we would come to know as basketba...

15:51

198- The Ice King

99% Invisible Wed, 03 Feb 2016 02:07:14 -0000

<p>In the mid-19th century, decades before home refrigeration became the norm, you could find ice clinking in glasses from...

16:02

197- Fish Cannon

99% Invisible Wed, 27 Jan 2016 00:52:06 -0000

<p>The Iron Curtain was an 8,000-mile border separating East from West during the Cold War. Something unexpected evolved i...

13:47

196- The Fresno Drop

99% Invisible Wed, 20 Jan 2016 01:14:40 -0000

<p>In September 1958, Bank of America began an experiment – one that would have far reaching effects on our lives and on t...

13:44

195- Best Enjoyed By

99% Invisible Wed, 13 Jan 2016 04:31:28 -0000

<p>Date labels (e.g. “use-by”, “sell-by”, “best-by”, “best if used by,” “expires on”, etc.) are on a lot of products. Fort...

11:12

194- Bone Music

99% Invisible Tue, 22 Dec 2015 23:36:00 -0000

<p>In 1950s Soviet Russia, citizens craved Western popular music—everything from jazz to rock & roll. But smuggling vi...

14:39

193- Tube Benders

99% Invisible Wed, 16 Dec 2015 04:00:50 -0000

<p>The skyline of beautiful downtown Oakland, California, is defined by various towers by day, but at night there is one t...

21:14

192- Pagodas and Dragon Gates

99% Invisible Tue, 08 Dec 2015 23:47:45 -0000

<p>For Americans, the sight of pagoda roofs and dragon gates means that you are in Chinatown. Whether in San Francisco, Ne...

12:35

191- Worst Smell in the World

99% Invisible Wed, 02 Dec 2015 09:26:43 -0000

<p>Many material trifles, such as Silly Putty, started as attempts at serious inventions, but in rare cases, the process w...

18:09

190- Fixing the Hobo Suit

99% Invisible Tue, 24 Nov 2015 23:52:10 -0000

<p>Superhero costumes for TV and film used to be pretty cringe-worthy. Lately, however, super outfits are looking much bet...

13:48

189- The Landlord’s Game

99% Invisible Wed, 18 Nov 2015 04:41:15 -0000

<p>From rock-paper-scissors, to tennis, to Mario Kart, every game is a designed system and all games are grounded in the s...

30:25

188- Fountain Drinks

99% Invisible Tue, 10 Nov 2015 18:58:25 -0000

<p>On April 21st, 1859, an incredible thing happened in London and thousands of people came out to celebrate it. Women wor...

15:43

187- Butterfly Effects

99% Invisible Wed, 04 Nov 2015 01:20:20 -0000

<p>Ballots are an essential component to a working democracy, yet they are rarely created (or even reviewed) by design pro...

16:12

186- War and Pizza

99% Invisible Wed, 28 Oct 2015 00:36:56 -0000

<p>Households tend to take pantry food for granted, but canned beans, powered cheese, and bags of moist cookies were not d...

18:22

185- Atmospherians

99% Invisible Tue, 20 Oct 2015 19:35:47 -0000

<p>The phrase ‘from Central Casting’ has become a kind of cultural shorthand for a stereotype or archetype, a subject so v...

23:17

110- Structural Integrity (Rebroadcast)

99% Invisible Wed, 14 Oct 2015 03:37:14 -0000

<p>99% Invisible is honored to accept a 2015 Third Coast International Audio Festival award for Structural Integrity, a st...

28:20

184- Rajneeshpuram

99% Invisible Wed, 07 Oct 2015 03:59:54 -0000

<p>Indian philosopher and mystic Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh had a vision: he would build a Utopian city from the ground up, st...

16:12

183- Dead Letter Office

99% Invisible Wed, 30 Sep 2015 03:21:36 -0000

<p>When something is lost in the mail, it feels like it has disappeared into the ether, like it was sucked into a black ho...

14:22

182- A Sweet Surprise Awaits You

99% Invisible Wed, 23 Sep 2015 04:00:18 -0000

<p>On the night of March 30, 2005, the Powerball jackpot was 25 million dollars. The grand prize winner was in Tennessee,...

16:21

181- Milk Carton Kids

99% Invisible Tue, 15 Sep 2015 23:17:08 -0000

<p>On a Sunday morning in 1982, in Des Moines, Iowa, Johnny Gosch left his house to begin his usual paper route. A short t...

14:54

180- Reefer Madness

99% Invisible Wed, 09 Sep 2015 04:00:13 -0000

<p>There are around 6,000 cargo vessels out on the ocean right now, carrying 20,000,000 shipping containers, which are del...

21:13

179- Bathysphere

99% Invisible Wed, 02 Sep 2015 04:00:21 -0000

<p>In 1860, a chance find at sea forever changed our understanding of marine habitats, sparking an unprecedented push to e...

29:05

178- The Great Restoration

99% Invisible Wed, 26 Aug 2015 05:45:14 -0000

<p>Stirling, Scotland is the home of Stirling Castle, which sits atop a giant crag, or hill, overlooking the whole town of...

16:21

177- Lawn Order

99% Invisible Wed, 19 Aug 2015 04:00:02 -0000

<p>In communities across America, lawns that are brown or overgrown are considered especially heinous. Elite squads of ded...

16:59

176- Hard to Love a Brute

99% Invisible Wed, 12 Aug 2015 03:46:17 -0000

<p>No matter which James Bond actor is your favorite, it’s undeniable that the Sean Connery films had the best villains. T...

26:38

175- The Sunshine Hotel

99% Invisible Wed, 05 Aug 2015 04:03:09 -0000

<p>The Bowery, in lower Manhattan, is one of New York’s oldest neighborhoods. It’s been through a lot of iterations. In th...

18:13

174- From the Sea, Freedom

99% Invisible Wed, 29 Jul 2015 04:01:49 -0000

<p>In 1933, delegates from the United States and fourteen other countries met in Montevideo, Uruguay to define what it mea...

16:33

173- Awareness

99% Invisible Wed, 22 Jul 2015 03:51:44 -0000

<p>By the late 1980s, AIDS had been in the United States for almost a decade. AIDS had be the number one killer of young m...

14:03

172- On Location

99% Invisible Wed, 15 Jul 2015 03:01:16 -0000

<p>So many classic movies have been made in downtown Los Angeles. Though many don’t actually take place in downtown Los An...

21:36

171- Johnnycab (Automation Paradox, Pt. 2)

99% Invisible Wed, 01 Jul 2015 06:58:56 -0000

<p>More than 90% of all automobile accidents are all attributable to human error, for some car industry people, a fully-au...

28:58

170- Children of the Magenta (Automation Paradox, pt. 1)

99% Invisible Wed, 24 Jun 2015 00:13:13 -0000

<p>On the evening of May 31, 2009, 216 passengers, three pilots, and nine flight attendants boarded an Airbus 330 in Rio d...

13:19

169- Freud’s Couch

99% Invisible Wed, 17 Jun 2015 05:55:27 -0000

<p>Sigmund Freud’s ground-breaking techniques and theories for therapy came to be called “psychoanalysis,” and it was embo...

30:05

168- All In Your Head

99% Invisible Wed, 10 Jun 2015 07:57:45 -0000

<p>People who make horror movies know: if you want to scare someone, use scary music. Some of the most creative use of mus...

38:02

167- Voices in the Wire

99% Invisible Wed, 03 Jun 2015 03:08:27 -0000

<p>This week on 99% Invisible, we have two stories about the early days of broadcasting and home sound recording, produced...

19:04

166- Viva La Arquitectura!

99% Invisible Wed, 27 May 2015 04:21:10 -0000

<p>On January 3rd, 1961, Che Guevara suggested to Fidel Castro that they go play a round of golf. They drove out to what w...

23:15

165- The Nutshell Studies

99% Invisible Wed, 20 May 2015 04:47:53 -0000

<p>The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore, Maryland is a busy place. Anyone who dies unexpectedly in the st...

13:14

164- The Post-Billiards Age

99% Invisible Wed, 13 May 2015 04:33:18 -0000

<p>We live in a post-billiards age. There was an age of billiards, and it has been over for so long, most of us have no id...

15:28

163- The Gruen Effect

99% Invisible Wed, 06 May 2015 03:06:48 -0000

<p>Retail spaces are designed for impulse shopping. When you go to a store looking for socks and come out with a new shirt...

16:04

162- Mystery House

99% Invisible Tue, 28 Apr 2015 18:59:01 -0000

<p>According to legend, Sarah Winchester’s friends advised the grieving widow to seek the services of a Boston spiritual m...

19:59

161- Show of Force

99% Invisible Wed, 22 Apr 2015 04:28:58 -0000

<p>During World War II, a massive recruitment effort targeted students from the top art schools across the country. These...

14:42

160- Perfect Security

99% Invisible Wed, 15 Apr 2015 03:10:52 -0000

<p>The pursuit of lock picking is as old as the lock, which is itself as old as civilization. But in the entire history of...

16:09

159- The Calendar

99% Invisible Wed, 08 Apr 2015 15:57:52 -0000

<p>A month is hardly a unit of measurement. It can start on any day of the week and last anywhere from 28 to 31 days. Some...

24:07

158- Sandhogs

99% Invisible Tue, 31 Mar 2015 19:54:53 -0000

<p>Eighty years ago, New York City needed another tunnel under the Hudson River. The Holland Tunnel and the George Washing...

21:00

54- The Colour of Money (R)

99% Invisible Wed, 25 Mar 2015 07:37:58 -0000

<p>United States paper currency is so ubiquitous that to really look at its graphic design with fresh eyes requires some d...

20:20

157- Devil’s Rope

99% Invisible Wed, 18 Mar 2015 06:23:49 -0000

<p>In the mid 1800s, not many (non-native) Americans had ever been west of the Mississippi. When Frederick Law Olmstead vi...

15:34

156- Coin Check

99% Invisible Wed, 11 Mar 2015 00:13:09 -0000

<p>The United States Military is not known for being touchy-feely. There’s not much hugging or head-patting, and superiors...

13:23

155- Palm Reading

99% Invisible Wed, 04 Mar 2015 03:34:53 -0000

<p>Reports of palm theft have appeared in LA, San Diego, and Texas; palm rustling also gets a mention in Susan Orlean’s Th...

14:23

154- PDX Carpet

99% Invisible Tue, 24 Feb 2015 23:56:44 -0000

<p>Portlanders have a tradition when visiting their airport: taking a picture of their feet. It’s not to show off their sh...

9:39

153- Game Over (R)

99% Invisible Wed, 18 Feb 2015 03:44:12 -0000

<p>A few months before the end of the world, everyone was saying their goodbyes. The world that was ending was The Sims On...

12:41

152- Guerrilla Public Service

99% Invisible Wed, 11 Feb 2015 05:27:26 -0000

<p>At some point in your life you’ve probably encountered a problem in the built world where the fix was obvious to you. M...

15:55

151- La Mascotte

99% Invisible Tue, 03 Feb 2015 21:30:12 -0000

<p>The idea of the mascot came to America by way of a popular French opera from the 1880s called La Mascotte. The opera is...

14:47

150- Under The Moonlight

99% Invisible Wed, 28 Jan 2015 02:59:15 -0000

<p>In 1885, Austin, Texas was terrorized by a serial killer known as the Servant Girl Annihilator. The murderer was never...

17:16

149- Of Mice And Men

99% Invisible Wed, 21 Jan 2015 04:19:55 -0000

<p>If you are looking at a computer screen, your right hand is probably resting on a mouse. To the left of that mouse (or...

13:04

148- The Sizzle

99% Invisible Wed, 14 Jan 2015 04:17:27 -0000

<p>The first trademark for a sound in the United States was issued in 1978 to NBC for their chimes. MGM has a sound tradem...

16:45

147- Penn Station Sucks

99% Invisible Wed, 07 Jan 2015 03:27:24 -0000

<p>New Yorkers are known to disagree about a lot of things. Who’s got the best pizza? What’s the fastest subway route? Yan...

41:48

146- Mooallempalooza

99% Invisible Wed, 31 Dec 2014 06:52:45 -0000

<p>As you probably know, 99% Invisible is a show about the built world, about things manufactured by humans. We don’t tend...

14:26

145- Octothorpe

99% Invisible Wed, 17 Dec 2014 03:18:36 -0000

<p>If you want to follow conversation threads relating to this show on social media—whether Twitter, Facebook, or Instagra...

12:37

144- There Is A Light That Never Goes Out

99% Invisible Wed, 10 Dec 2014 04:39:50 -0000

<p>Hanging in the garage of Fire Station #6 in Livermore, California, there’s a small, pear-shaped light bulb. It is glowi...

14:01

143- Inflatable Men

99% Invisible Wed, 03 Dec 2014 06:44:21 -0000

<p>You see them on street corners, at gas stations, at shopping malls. You see them at blowout sales and grand openings of...

13:49

142- And The Winner Is

99% Invisible Wed, 26 Nov 2014 04:21:02 -0000

<p>There’s a little trophy shop called Aardvark Laser Engraving down the street from our office in Oakland. Its small but...

29:10

141- Three Records from Sundown

99% Invisible Wed, 19 Nov 2014 06:59:42 -0000

<p>This week on the show we’re presenting one of our favorite radio features, “Three Records from Sundown,” about singer N...

11:38

140- Vexillonaire

99% Invisible Wed, 12 Nov 2014 07:11:53 -0000

<p>Vexillologists—those who study flags—tend to fall into one of two schools of thought. The first is one that focuses on...

14:58

139- Edge of Your Seat

99% Invisible Tue, 04 Nov 2014 22:18:55 -0000

<p>“A Chair is a difficult object. A skyscraper is almost easier.” — Mies van der Rohe. The chair presents an interesting...

17:27

138- O-U-I-J-A

99% Invisible Tue, 28 Oct 2014 18:37:10 -0000

<p>The Ouija board is so simple and iconic that it looks like it comes from another time, or maybe another realm. The game...

15:19

137- Good Bread

99% Invisible Wed, 22 Oct 2014 07:30:47 -0000

<p>The first print advertisement for Wonder Bread came out before the bread itself. It stated only that “a wonder” was com...

0

Kickstart Radiotopia- A Storytelling Revolution

99% Invisible Sun, 19 Oct 2014 23:14:59 -0000

<p>When you support Radiotopia, you are making sure 99% Invisible can keep coming to you weekly and you’ll be supporting o...

14:52

136- Lights Out

99% Invisible Tue, 14 Oct 2014 18:26:35 -0000

<p>On July 13th, 1977, lightning struck an electricity transmission line in New York City, causing the line’s automatic ci...

13:10

135- For Amusement Only

99% Invisible Tue, 07 Oct 2014 23:17:05 -0000

<p>Everyone has tried it at some point. The authorities started turning a blind eye years ago, but it wasn’t officially le...

15:53

134- The Straight Line Is A Godless Line

99% Invisible Tue, 30 Sep 2014 23:08:42 -0000

<p>Straight lines form the core of our built environment. Building in straight lines makes predicting costs and calculatin...

17:48

133- Port of Dallas

99% Invisible Wed, 24 Sep 2014 04:31:45 -0000

<p>There’s a photograph we have tacked to our studio at 99% Invisible HQ. The photo, taken 1899, shows three men, all look...

16:03

132- Castle on the Park

99% Invisible Tue, 16 Sep 2014 13:54:15 -0000

<p>On the southwest corner of Central Park West and 106th Street in New York City, there’s an enormous castle. It takes up...

12:09

131- Genesis Object

99% Invisible Wed, 10 Sep 2014 18:13:02 -0000

<p>In the beginning, there was design. Before any other human discipline, even before the dawn of mankind its self, design...

16:04

130- Holdout

99% Invisible Tue, 02 Sep 2014 10:24:40 -0000

<p>Around 2005, a Seattle neighborhood called Ballard started to see unprecedented growth. Condominiums and apartment buil...

12:57

129- Thomassons

99% Invisible Tue, 26 Aug 2014 17:39:58 -0000

<p>Cities, like living things, evolve slowly over time. Buildings and structures get added and renovated and removed, and...

18:35

128- Hacking IKEA

99% Invisible Tue, 19 Aug 2014 21:46:41 -0000

<p>IKEA hacking is the practice of buying things from IKEA and reengineering—or “hacking”—them to become customized, more...

58:53

127- The Sound of Sports

99% Invisible Tue, 12 Aug 2014 02:05:11 -0000

<p>Way back in October 2011 (see episode #38, true believers!), we broadcast a short excerpt of a radio documentary produc...

14:20

126- Walk This Way

99% Invisible Tue, 05 Aug 2014 02:22:15 -0000

<p>As humans have developed cities and built environments, we have also needed to develop ways to find our way through the...

10:32

125- Duplitecture

99% Invisible Tue, 29 Jul 2014 18:57:25 -0000

<p>The best knock-offs in the world are in China. There are plenty of fake designer handbags and Rolexes, but China’s knoc...

16:47

124- Longbox

99% Invisible Tue, 22 Jul 2014 13:26:56 -0000

<p>Reporter Whitney Jones argues that R.E.M.’s Out of Time is the most politically significant album in the history of the...

16:41

123- Snowflake

99% Invisible Tue, 15 Jul 2014 18:47:44 -0000

<p>Well before the early 1500s, when Sir Thomas Moore first coined the term “Utopia,” people have been thinking about how...

15:46

122- Good Egress

99% Invisible Tue, 08 Jul 2014 20:52:21 -0000

<p>When designing a commercial structure, there is one safety component that must be designed right into the building from...

20:53

121- Cold War Kids

99% Invisible Tue, 01 Jul 2014 18:30:08 -0000

<p>During the 1961 Berlin Crisis—one of the various moments in the cold war in which we came frighteningly close to engagi...

14:22

120- Skyjacking

99% Invisible Tue, 24 Jun 2014 04:51:21 -0000

<p>The term “hijacking” goes back to prohibition days, when gangsters would rob moonshine trucks saying, “Hold your hands...

14:12

119- Feet of Engineering

99% Invisible Tue, 17 Jun 2014 19:20:42 -0000

<p>As a fashion object and symbol, the high heel shoe is weighted with meaning. It’s also weighted with the wearer’s entir...

19:20

118- Song Exploder

99% Invisible Tue, 10 Jun 2014 15:33:13 -0000

<p>99% Invisible presents Song Exploder. A song is a product of design. It’s difficult to create an original melody, but t...

19:05

117- Clean Trains

99% Invisible Tue, 03 Jun 2014 20:16:09 -0000

<p>In just about every movie set in New York City in the 1970s and 80s there’s an establishing shot with a graffiti-covere...

18:44

116- Breaking the Bank

99% Invisible Tue, 27 May 2014 19:23:04 -0000

<p>When I go into a bank, especially if I have to stand in line waiting to make a deposit, my mind wanders. And one of the...

20:41

115- Cow Tunnels

99% Invisible Tue, 20 May 2014 18:45:58 -0000

<p>The westernmost part of Manhattan, between 34th and 39th street, is pretty industrial. There’s a bus depot, a ferry ter...

29:22

114- Ten Thousand Years

99% Invisible Tue, 13 May 2014 07:01:10 -0000

<p>In 1990, the federal government invited a group of geologists, linguists, astrophysicists, architects, artists, and wri...

23:13

113- Monumental Dilemma

99% Invisible Tue, 06 May 2014 06:43:40 -0000

<p>About ten miles north of Concord, New Hampshire, off of interstate 93 there’s a little island with a great, big monumen...

18:37

112- Young Ruin

99% Invisible Tue, 29 Apr 2014 16:28:01 -0000

<p>If you’ve wandered around Machu Picchu, or Stonehenge, or the Colosseum, or even snuck into that abandoned house on the...

15:49

111- Masters of the Uni-verse

99% Invisible Tue, 22 Apr 2014 20:28:07 -0000

<p>Uniforms matter. When it comes to sports, they might be the only thing to which we’re actually loyal. Sports uniforms a...

23:17

110- Structural Integrity

99% Invisible Tue, 15 Apr 2014 19:40:29 -0000

<p>When it was built in 1977, Citicorp Center (later renamed Citigroup Center, now called 601 Lexington) was, at 59 storie...

15:44

109- Title TK

99% Invisible Tue, 08 Apr 2014 19:07:23 -0000

<p>The name is important. It’s the first thing of any product you use or buy or see. The tip of the spear. You are bombard...

16:57

108- Barcodes

99% Invisible Tue, 01 Apr 2014 22:42:18 -0000

<p>When George Laurer goes to the grocery store, he doesn’t tell the check-out people that he invented the barcode, but hi...

18:52

107- Call Now

99% Invisible Tue, 25 Mar 2014 20:54:18 -0000

<p>When it’s three o’clock in the morning and everything is going wrong in your life, there’s a certain kind of ad you mig...

14:11

106- The Fancy Shape

99% Invisible Tue, 18 Mar 2014 05:47:06 -0000

<p>Quatrefoil is the name of the four-lobed cloverleaf shape. It’s everywhere: adorning Gothic cathedrals, more modern chu...

18:09

105- One Man is An Island

99% Invisible Tue, 11 Mar 2014 07:19:49 -0000

<p>A few years ago, reporter Sean Cole was working on a radio story and needed to interview the rapper Busta Rhymes. Sean...

20:02

104- Tunnel 57

99% Invisible Wed, 05 Mar 2014 01:48:23 -0000

<p>At its peak, the Berlin Wall was 100 miles long. Today only about a mile is left standing. Compared with other famous w...

15:50

103- UTBAPH

99% Invisible Tue, 25 Feb 2014 22:33:17 -0000

<p>It started with some Pittsburgh humor. Pittsburgh-based comedian Tom Muisal does a bit about a GPS unit that can give d...

13:54

102- Icon for Access

99% Invisible Tue, 18 Feb 2014 20:24:49 -0000

<p>There is a beauty to a universal standard. The idea that people across the world can agree that when they interact with...

17:37

101- Cover Story

99% Invisible Tue, 11 Feb 2014 18:27:40 -0000

<p>You know the saying: you can’t judge a book by its cover. With magazines, it’s pretty much the opposite. The cover of a...

16:40

100- Higher And Higher

99% Invisible Tue, 04 Feb 2014 04:12:47 -0000

<p>Like the best of these stories, the two bitter rivals started out as best friends: William Van Alen and Craig Severance...

14:52

99- The View From The 79th Floor

99% Invisible Wed, 15 Jan 2014 06:34:59 -0000

<p>On July 28, 1945, an airplane crashed into the Empire State Building. A B-25 bomber was flying a routine mission, chart...

19:19

98- Six Stories- the memory palace

99% Invisible Fri, 03 Jan 2014 01:41:57 -0000

<p>Elevators are old. They would have to be. Because it is in our nature to rise. History is full of things that lift othe...

21:52

97- Numbers Stations

99% Invisible Fri, 20 Dec 2013 21:15:59 -0000

<p>If you tune around on a shortwave radio, you might stumble across a voice reciting an endless stream of numbers. Just n...

12:58

96- DIY Space Suit

99% Invisible Tue, 03 Dec 2013 07:03:14 -0000

<p>Cameron Smith is building a space suit in his apartment. He’s not an astronaut. He’s not even an engineer. Cameron Smit...

19:54

95- Future Screens are Mostly Blue

99% Invisible Thu, 21 Nov 2013 07:54:58 -0000

<p>We have seen the future, and the future is mostly blue. Or, put another way: in our representations of the future in sc...

19:17

94- Unbuilt

99% Invisible Wed, 13 Nov 2013 00:43:13 -0000

<p>There is an allure in unbuilt structures: the utopian, futuristic transports, the impossibly tall skyscrapers, even the...

14:18

93- Revolving Doors

99% Invisible Wed, 06 Nov 2013 09:05:17 -0000

<p>The story goes like this: Theophilus Van Kannel hated chivalry. There was nothing he despised more than trying to walk...

17:08

92- All the Buildings

99% Invisible Tue, 29 Oct 2013 07:00:57 -0000

<p>I love those moments when you’re walking in your neighborhood and suddenly nothing is familiar. In a good way. Sean Col...

0

Kickstart Season 4 of 99% Invisible- Weekly Episodes

99% Invisible Wed, 23 Oct 2013 19:08:33 -0000

<p>99% Invisible started as a side project I made in my bedroom at night, and after two years of making the program, I tur...

30:17

91- Wild Ones Live

99% Invisible Mon, 14 Oct 2013 23:45:32 -0000

<p>We have one cardinal rule on 99% Invisible: No cardinals. Meaning, we deal with the built world, not the natural world....

22:56

90- Strowger and Purple Reign Redux

99% Invisible Wed, 02 Oct 2013 23:41:23 -0000

<p>If you are an undertaker in 1878 Kansas City, and you learn that your competitor’s wife works as a telephone switchboar...

23:33

89- Bubble Houses

99% Invisible Tue, 17 Sep 2013 07:17:49 -0000

<p>If you were a movie star in the market for a mansion in 1930s Los Angeles, there was a good chance you might call on Wa...

14:48

88- The Broadcast Clock

99% Invisible Tue, 03 Sep 2013 20:40:15 -0000

<p>There’s a term that epitomizes what we radio producers aspire to create: the “driveway moment.” It’s when a story is so...

17:17

87- I Heart NY, TM

99% Invisible Thu, 22 Aug 2013 00:18:34 -0000

<p>By now, the story is well known. A man sits in the backseat of a cab, sketching on a notepad as night falls over a crum...

18:56

86- Reversal of Fortune

99% Invisible Fri, 09 Aug 2013 00:10:51 -0000

<p>Chicago’s biggest design achievement probably isn’t one of its amazing skyscrapers, but the Chicago River, a waterway d...

16:17

85- Noble Effort

99% Invisible Mon, 29 Jul 2013 20:18:02 -0000

<p>If you grew up watching Warner Brothers cartoons, you might remember seeing the name Chuck Jones in big letters in the...

26:27

84- Ode to Ladislav Sutnar plus Trading Places with Planet Money

99% Invisible Mon, 15 Jul 2013 19:22:29 -0000

<p>An ode to an information designer who made life a little bit easier for millions and millions of people: Ladislav Sutna...

26:36

83- Heyoon

99% Invisible Tue, 02 Jul 2013 22:31:31 -0000

<p>Growing up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Alex Goldman was a misfit. Bored and disaffected and angry, he longed for a place to...

11:18

82- The Man of Tomorrow

99% Invisible Thu, 20 Jun 2013 17:30:25 -0000

<p>I’m willing to concede from the get-go that I might be wrong about the entire premise of this story, but Superman has n...

10:47

81- Rebar and the Alvord Lake Bridge

99% Invisible Fri, 07 Jun 2013 06:10:53 -0000

<p>There’s something about rebar that fascinates me. If nothing else because there are very few things that invoke a fear...

16:39

80- An Architect’s Code

99% Invisible Tue, 28 May 2013 18:36:52 -0000

<p>Lawyers have an ethics code. Journalists have an ethics code. Architects do, too. According to Ethical Standard 1.4 of...

23:38

79- The Symphony of Sirens plus Soviet Design

99% Invisible Wed, 08 May 2013 22:30:13 -0000

<p>For the ancient Greeks, sirens were mythical creatures who sang out to passing sailors from rocks in the sea. Their mus...

17:32

78- No Armed Bandit

99% Invisible Tue, 30 Apr 2013 00:46:39 -0000

<p>Americans have always had an uneasy relationship with gambling. To circumvent anti-gambling laws in the US, early slot...

11:03

77- Game Changer

99% Invisible Mon, 15 Apr 2013 23:53:01 -0000

<p>Regardless of how you feel about basketball, you’ve got to appreciate the way it can bring groups of strangers together...

21:50

76- The Modern Moloch

99% Invisible Thu, 04 Apr 2013 00:22:37 -0000

<p>On the streets of early 20th Century America, nothing moved faster than 10 miles per hour. Responsible parents would te...

10:36

99% Invisible-75- Secret Staircases

99% Invisible Thu, 21 Mar 2013 00:26:23 -0000

<p>Wherever there is sufficient demand to move between two points of differing elevation, there are stairs. In some hilly...

11:40

99% Invisible-74- Hand Painted Signs

99% Invisible Fri, 08 Mar 2013 06:21:11 -0000

<p>There was a time when every street sign, every billboard, and every window display was made by a sign artist with a pai...

10:53

99% Invisible-73- The Zanzibar and Other Building Poems

99% Invisible Mon, 18 Feb 2013 17:00:38 -0000

<p>There comes a time in the life of a modern city where it begins to grow up–literally. Santiago, the capital of Chile, h...

17:41

99% Invisible-72- New Old Town

99% Invisible Tue, 05 Feb 2013 22:43:53 -0000

<p>Like many cities in Central Europe, Warsaw is made up largely of grey, ugly, communist block-style architecture. Except...

16:02

99% Invisible-71- In and Out of LOVE

99% Invisible Wed, 23 Jan 2013 18:58:44 -0000

<p>Though its officially name is JFK Plaza, the open space near Philadelphia’s City Hall is more commonly known as LOVE Pa...

12:29

99% Invisible-70- The Great Red Car Conspiracy

99% Invisible Fri, 11 Jan 2013 19:22:21 -0000

<p>When Eric Molinsky lived in Los Angeles, he kept hearing this story about a bygone transportation system called the Red...

23:24

99% Invisible-69- The Brief and Tumultuous Life of the New UC Logo

99% Invisible Mon, 31 Dec 2012 22:54:50 -0000

<p>If you’re not from California, or missed this bit of news, the University of California has a new logo. Or rather had a...

10:04

99% Invisible-68- Built for Speed

99% Invisible Wed, 12 Dec 2012 18:50:20 -0000

<p>I want you to conjure an image in your mind of the white stripes that divide the lanes of traffic going the same direct...

10:29

99% Invisible-67- Broken Window

99% Invisible Thu, 29 Nov 2012 23:55:28 -0000

<p>When Melissa Lee was growing up in Hastings-on-Hudson, a small town in upstate New York, there were only so many fun th...

14:54

99% Invisible-66- Kowloon Walled City

99% Invisible Mon, 19 Nov 2012 21:28:25 -0000

<p>Kowloon Walled City was the densest place in the world, ever. By its peak in the 1990s, the 6.5 acre Kowloon Walled Cit...

9:56

99% Invisible-65- Razzle Dazzle

99% Invisible Mon, 05 Nov 2012 19:54:53 -0000

<p>When most people think of camouflage they think of blending in with the environment, but camouflage can also take the o...

13:46

99% Invisible-64- Derelict Dome

99% Invisible Thu, 25 Oct 2012 23:26:34 -0000

<p>In the Cape Cod town of Woods Hole, buildings are not usually dome-shaped. Producer Katie Klocksin was pretty surprised...

12:29

99% Invisible-63- The Political Stage

99% Invisible Fri, 12 Oct 2012 21:32:57 -0000

<p>On this special edition of 99% Invisible, we joined forces with Andrea Seabrook of DecodeDC to investigate all the thou...

13:10

99% Invisible-62- Q2

99% Invisible Tue, 02 Oct 2012 18:27:23 -0000

<p>Benjamen Walker had a theory that priority queues are changing the American experience of waiting in line. So he visite...

15:57

99% Invisible-61- A Series of Tubes

99% Invisible Thu, 20 Sep 2012 04:58:12 -0000

<p>Pneumatic (adj.): of, or pertaining to, air, gases, or wind. In the world before telephone, radio, and email, the task...

12:28

99% Invisible-60b- BackStory- Heyward Shepherd Memorial

99% Invisible Mon, 10 Sep 2012 17:15:50 -0000

<p>I only recently started listening to BackStory with the American History Guys, but it’s already earned a top spot in my...

8:20

99% Invisible-60a- Two Storeys

99% Invisible Wed, 22 Aug 2012 20:13:58 -0000

<p>While we’re gearing up for season 3, we present two pieces from two shows we love: First up, Language Bites from RTE Ch...

12:47

99% Invisible-60- Names vs The Nothing

99% Invisible Mon, 06 Aug 2012 20:33:33 -0000

<p>New Public Sites is an investigation into some of the invisible sites and overlooked features of our everyday public sp...

16:43

99% Invisible-59- Some Other Sign that People Do Not Totally Regret Life

99% Invisible Wed, 25 Jul 2012 22:28:06 -0000

<p>Sean Cole is a poet and he knows what you think of that. He is also a radio producer. One night, drunk and stumbling ar...

19:01

99% Invisible-58- Purple Reign

99% Invisible Fri, 13 Jul 2012 20:29:23 -0000

<p>What’s the difference between what the public sees and what an architect sees when they look at a building? The hotel o...

0

Kickstarter Video for Season 3 of 99% Invisible

99% Invisible Thu, 12 Jul 2012 16:32:14 -0000

<p>This is the Kickstarter video for funding the new season of 99% Invisible. If you enjoy the show and want to help keep...

14:57

99% Invisible-57- What Gave You That Idea

99% Invisible Thu, 28 Jun 2012 22:09:29 -0000

<p>Starlee Kine’s friend Noel works in advertising. In 2003, Noel was working in at an agency in Richmond, VA. Everyone wa...

10:52

99% Invisible-56- Frozen Music

99% Invisible Thu, 14 Jun 2012 17:37:37 -0000

<p>Goethe said, “Architecture is frozen music.” I like that. Of course that was before audio recording, so now, for the mo...

13:49

99% Invisible-55- The Best Beer in the World

99% Invisible Thu, 31 May 2012 17:51:38 -0000

<p>If you’re a beer nerd, or have a friend who’s a beer nerd, you’ve heard of Belgian beers. Belgians take beer very serio...

17:09

99% Invisible-54- The Colour of Money

99% Invisible Wed, 16 May 2012 23:21:41 -0000

<p>US paper currency is so ubiquitous that to really look at its graphic design with fresh eyes requires some deliberate a...

11:49

99% Invisible-53- The Xanadu Effect

99% Invisible Tue, 01 May 2012 23:06:15 -0000

<p>What happens when we build big? Julia Barton remembers going to the top floor of Dallas’s then-new city hall when she w...

12:55

99% Invisible-52- Galloping Gertie

99% Invisible Wed, 18 Apr 2012 17:35:21 -0000

<p>Even during the construction of the original Tacoma Narrows Bridge, the deck would go up and down by several feet with...

11:15

99% Invisible-51- The Arsenal of Exclusion

99% Invisible Tue, 03 Apr 2012 19:55:16 -0000

<p>“Cities exist to bring people together, but cities can also keep people apart” – Daniel D’Oca, Urban Planner, Interboro...

12:10

99% Invisible-50- DeafSpace

99% Invisible Thu, 22 Mar 2012 19:49:15 -0000

<p>The acoustics of a building are a big concern for architects. But for designers at Gallaudet University in Washington,...

10:22

99% Invisible-49- Queue Theory and Design

99% Invisible Fri, 09 Mar 2012 03:23:36 -0000

<p>In the US, it’s called a line. In Canada, it’s often referred to as a line-up. Pretty much everywhere else, it’s known...

11:35

99% Invisible-48- The Bathtubs or the Boiler Room

99% Invisible Sun, 26 Feb 2012 22:38:32 -0000

<p>“I have this habit of walking into any door that’s unlocked…You start poking around, going into doors…you find the cool...

12:54

99% Invisible-47- US Postal Service Stamps

99% Invisible Fri, 10 Feb 2012 05:36:38 -0000

<p>Somebody might be able to do a great painting that’s 20 x 30 inches, but you take that down to 1 x 1.5 inches, and it’s...

9:54

99% Invisible-46- Vulcanite Dentures

99% Invisible Fri, 27 Jan 2012 08:17:40 -0000

<p>Before the 1850s, dentures were made out of very hard, very painful and very expensive material, like gold or ivory. Th...

12:33

99% Invisible-45- Immersive Ideal

99% Invisible Wed, 18 Jan 2012 23:19:28 -0000

<p>Beauty Pill is band I really like from Washington DC. They have released two EPs (The Cigarette Girl From the Future an...

11:55

99% Invisible-44- The Pruitt-Igoe Myth

99% Invisible Fri, 06 Jan 2012 04:23:51 -0000

<p>The Pruitt-Igoe housing project in St. Louis became most famous at the moment of its demise. The thirty-three high-rise...

7:49

99% Invisible-43- Accidental Music of Imperfect Escalators

99% Invisible Mon, 19 Dec 2011 08:10:56 -0000

<p>“There’s a secret jazz seeping from Washington’s aging Metro escalators – those anemic metal walkways that fill our tra...

11:04

99% Invisible-42- Recognizably Anonymous

99% Invisible Fri, 09 Dec 2011 03:22:02 -0000

<p>Anonymous is not group. It is not an organization. Rob Walker describes Anonymous as a “loosely affiliated and ever-cha...

5:38

99% Invisible-41- The Human-Human Interface

99% Invisible Sat, 03 Dec 2011 02:51:37 -0000

<p>Paola Antonelli is the Senior Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art. Her mos...

12:33

99% Invisible-40- Billy Possum

99% Invisible Wed, 23 Nov 2011 18:10:17 -0000

<p>It’s totally unfair. Hydrox cookies came out four years before the introduction of Oreos, but Hydrox could never shake...

31:45

99% Invisible-39X- The Biography of 100,000 Square Feet

99% Invisible Fri, 18 Nov 2011 07:43:05 -0000

<p>United Nations Plaza sits in the center of San Francisco. Most people consider it a complete failure as a public space....

8:01

99% Invisible-39- Darth Vader Family Courthouse

99% Invisible Fri, 28 Oct 2011 20:45:29 -0000

<p>It’s hard to imagine a place where more desperate and depressing drama unfolds on a daily basis than a family courthous...

5:57

99% Invisible-38- Sound of Sport

99% Invisible Thu, 13 Oct 2011 11:47:41 -0000

<p>If Dennis Baxter and Bill Whiston are doing their job right, you probably don’t notice that they’re doing their job. Bu...

7:47

99% Invisible-37- The Steering Wheel

99% Invisible Thu, 29 Sep 2011 04:06:56 -0000

<p>If I asked you to close your eyes and mimic the action of using one of the simple human interfaces of everyday life, yo...

10:23

99% Invisible-36- Super Bon Bonn

99% Invisible Fri, 16 Sep 2011 06:14:44 -0000

<p>Cities are pretty robust organisms, they tend to survive even when put under tremendous stress and strain. Local indust...

6:50

99% Invisible-35- Elegy for WTC

99% Invisible Thu, 01 Sep 2011 23:01:00 -0000

<p>I want to be careful not to overstate what it means for a building to die. A building’s worth is an infinitesimal fract...

10:27

99% Invisible-34- The Speed of Light for Building Pyramids

99% Invisible Fri, 19 Aug 2011 02:15:33 -0000

<p>Last year, Steve Burrows CBE (Principle at the engineering consulting firm Arup) spent several weeks in Egypt studying...

7:24

99% Invisible-33- A Cheer for Samuel Plimsoll

99% Invisible Thu, 04 Aug 2011 22:44:46 -0000

<p>If you look at the outer hull of commercial ships, you might find a painted circle bisected with a long horizontal line...

8:35

99% Invisible-32- Design for Airports

99% Invisible Thu, 28 Jul 2011 03:10:37 -0000

<p>When I spoke with Allison Arieff about the design of airports, she said to me, if all airports simply played Brian Eno’...

10:23

99% Invisible-31- Feltron Annual Report

99% Invisible Thu, 14 Jul 2011 05:48:28 -0000

<p>Nicholas Felton is an information designer. Since 2005, he has tabulated thousands upon thousands of tiny measurements...

10:48

99% Invisible-30- The Blue Yarn

99% Invisible Fri, 01 Jul 2011 00:31:11 -0000

<p>In 1998 Dr. Gary Kaplan, the CEO of Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle received some bad news about his hospital....

12:14

99% Invisible-29- Cul de Sac

99% Invisible Fri, 17 Jun 2011 01:52:38 -0000

<p>When people critique cul-de-sacs, a lot of the time, they’re actually critiquing the suburbs more generally. The cul-de...

9:38

99% Invisible-28- Movie Title Sequences

99% Invisible Fri, 10 Jun 2011 00:16:14 -0000

<p>More and more I’m finding that the first 2-3 minutes of a movie are my favorite part of the film. My life is devoted to...

5:12

99% Invisible-27- Bridge to the Sky

99% Invisible Fri, 03 Jun 2011 06:32:34 -0000

<p>There are rules that dicate what you can build and how. Rules of physics and rules of men who sit on various bureaucrat...

7:49

99% Invisible-26- Chicago’s Jailhouse Skyscraper

99% Invisible Fri, 20 May 2011 04:15:24 -0000

<p>The Metropolitan Correctional Center, or MCC, is a federal jail right in the middle of downtown Chicago. It’s a triangl...

8:28

99% Invisible-25- Unsung Icons of Soviet Design

99% Invisible Fri, 13 May 2011 03:48:59 -0000

<p>There’s something that links most of the everyday objects presented in “Made in Russia: Unsung Icons of Soviet Design.”...

6:58

99% Invisible-24- The Capitol Columns

99% Invisible Fri, 06 May 2011 04:18:41 -0000

<p>If you were present for any of the presidential inaugurations, from Andrew Jackson to Dwight D. Eisenhower, you saw the...

20:14

99% Invisible-23- You Are Listening To + Radio Net

99% Invisible Fri, 22 Apr 2011 06:36:43 -0000

<p>youarelistening.to appeared online on March 6, 2011 and I was hooked instantly. The combination of the police scanner a...

8:01

99% Invisible-22- Free Speech Monument

99% Invisible Fri, 15 Apr 2011 07:31:42 -0000

<p>In 1989, a group called the Berkeley Art Project decided to hold a national public art competition to create a monument...

5:50

99% Invisible-21- BLDGBLOG: On Sound

99% Invisible Fri, 01 Apr 2011 05:22:59 -0000

<p>Most sound design in architecture is centered around designing for silence. Buildings are trying to block out that cons...

7:21

99% Invisible-20- Nikko Concrete Commando

99% Invisible Fri, 25 Mar 2011 05:18:19 -0000

<p>In 2001, Delfin Vigil was walking the streets of San Francisco and ran across the name “Nikko” carved into the concrete...

9:57

99% Invisible-19X- RJDJ Reactive Music

99% Invisible Mon, 21 Mar 2011 05:53:28 -0000

<p>This week, the radio audience heard episode #10, but for you web and podcast listeners, I have a story I did about a ye...

11:14

99% Invisible-19- Liberation Squares plus NY Dick

99% Invisible Fri, 11 Mar 2011 04:42:24 -0000

<p>In a recent piece from Urban Omnibus, Vishaan Chakrabarti (Professor at the Graduate School for Architecture, Planning...

5:34

99% Invisible-18- Check Cashing Stores

99% Invisible Fri, 04 Mar 2011 04:45:17 -0000

<p>A few years ago, journalist Douglas McGray learned that the largest chain of check cashing stores in Southern Californi...

7:01

99% Invisible-17- Concrete Furniture

99% Invisible Fri, 25 Feb 2011 07:27:34 -0000

<p>The New City Hall, designed by Finnish architect Viljo Revell, was the first modern, concrete, civic building in Toront...

6:22

99% Invisible-16- A Designed Language

99% Invisible Fri, 18 Feb 2011 05:27:10 -0000

<p>The idea is simple and quite beautiful: if we all shared a second, politically neutral language, people of all differen...

5:19

99% Invisible-15- Sounds of the Artificial World

99% Invisible Fri, 11 Feb 2011 08:03:38 -0000

<p>Without all the beeps and chimes, without sonic feedback, all of your modern conveniences would be very hard to use. If...

6:28

99% Invisible-14- Periodic Table

99% Invisible Fri, 04 Feb 2011 08:18:52 -0000

<p>Everyone knows it when they see it. The classic “castle with turrets” periodic table is a beautiful and concise icon th...

11:34

99% Invisible-13x-Game Over (Snap Judgment)

99% Invisible Fri, 07 Jan 2011 19:37:08 -0000

<p>99% Invisible Extra! The tape rolls as we witness the tearful end of a perfect online world. This is a piece I did for...

4:58

99% Invisible-13- Maps

99% Invisible Fri, 17 Dec 2010 04:49:38 -0000

<p>I’m sorry, but if you don’t love maps, I don’t think we can be friends anymore. Maps are amazing. They are art and stor...

4:57

99% Invisible-12- 99% Guilt Free

99% Invisible Fri, 03 Dec 2010 08:17:18 -0000

<p>“Sustainable Design is a design philosophy that seeks to maximize the quality of the built environment, while minimizin...

4:59

99% Invisible-11- 99% Undesigned

99% Invisible Thu, 25 Nov 2010 01:34:48 -0000

<p>Almost everything in modern life is designed to waste energy. The whole system evolved on a false premise that petroleu...

5:20

99% Invisible-10- 99% Sound and Feel

99% Invisible Fri, 19 Nov 2010 08:38:54 -0000

<p>Chris Downey explains it like this, “Beethoven continued to write music, even some of his best music, after he lost his...

11:59

99% Invisible-09X-99% Doomed

99% Invisible Sat, 13 Nov 2010 05:25:18 -0000

<p>99% Invisible Extra! NASA is figuring out how to take the next great leap into space. The difficulty is, if we leap to...

4:58

99% Invisible-09- 99% Private

99% Invisible Fri, 05 Nov 2010 07:24:22 -0000

<p>Privately Owned Public Open Spaces, or POPOS, are these little gardens, terraces, plazas, and seating areas that are pr...

5:19

99% Invisible-08- 99% Free Parking

99% Invisible Fri, 29 Oct 2010 07:44:47 -0000

<p>It’s weird how much anxiety comes from parking in a city. Beyond the stress of looking for parking, you must contend wi...

4:58

99% Invisible-07- 99% Alien

99% Invisible Thu, 14 Oct 2010 21:16:44 -0000

<p>Humans need a few basic things to survive- air, water, food, heat, shelter- but just surviving isn’t really enough. We...

4:57

99% Invisible-06- 99% Symbolic

99% Invisible Thu, 07 Oct 2010 22:26:23 -0000

<p>Before I moved to Chicago in 2005, I didn’t even know cities had their own flags. In Chicago, the city flag is everywhe...

4:58

99% Invisible-05- 99% Forgotten

99% Invisible Fri, 01 Oct 2010 05:00:11 -0000

<p>At the top of Mt. Olympus in San Francisco, on what was once thought to be the geographic center of the city, is a pede...

5:01

99% Invisible-04- 99% Details

99% Invisible Fri, 24 Sep 2010 07:54:17 -0000

<p>It’s a stick with bristles poking out of it. It doesn’t even qualify as a simple machine, but the careful thought and d...

4:58

99% Invisible-03- 99% Reality (only)

99% Invisible Fri, 24 Sep 2010 07:46:47 -0000

<p>There’s not much that we can do about all the physical matter that’s been designed and built by someone else. It is the...

4:58

99% Invisible-02- 99% 180

99% Invisible Thu, 23 Sep 2010 21:25:23 -0000

<p>In the beginning, former AIA-SF president Henrik Bull and the Transamerica Pyramid did not get along. The building was...

4:49

99% Invisible-01- 99% Noise

99% Invisible Thu, 23 Sep 2010 21:05:21 -0000

<p>This episode of 99% Invisible is all about acoustic design, the city soundscape, and how to make listening in shared sp...