99% Invisible-logo

99% Invisible

Stitcher Podcasts

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.

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.

Location:

San Francisco, CA

Description:

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.

Twitter:

@romanmars

Language:

English


Episodes

515- Super Citizens

11/22/2022
Los Angeles' El Peatonito is part of a subset of real life superheroes who are more focused on things like picking up trash and taking on civic issues than catching criminals in alleys. These super citizens take their inspiration from comic books but in some ways have more ambitious goals than defeating a make believe villain. They are out to solve big societal problems. Wherever a city is plagued by traffic accidents, or people are living on the streets…these heroes heed the call of...

Duration:00:33:36

405- Freedom House Ambulance Service: American Sirens

11/15/2022
When people ask me what my favorite episode of 99% Invisible is, I have a hard time answering. Not because they’re all my precious little babies or some such nonsense, but mostly it’s because I just can’t remember them all and there’s no simple criteria to judge them against each other. But the show is definitely in contention for the best episode we’ve ever made. It just has everything– engaging storytellers, brilliant reporting, and a compelling history of a moment when the world really...

Duration:00:52:47

514- Train Set: Track Two

11/8/2022
Funiculars are great, which is why the main image from our previous train episode featured one -- except we didn't actually talk about that one during the show. It's a cable car from Wellington, and as it turns out it's one of hundreds of funiculars in this city. Roman and Kurt are back with another series of railroad tales. All aboard! Train Set: Track Two

Duration:00:38:17

Articles of Interest: American Ivy

11/1/2022
Articles of Interest is a show about what we wear. Host and producer Avery Trufelman investigates our collectively held beliefs about fashion and explores topics like the intellectual property law behind knockoffs, creation of tartan and the history of plaid, and how a dolls in a rural museum in Washington state saved French haute couture. This new season investigates a style that keeps coming back again and again and again. Previously part of 99% Invisible, the show is now an independent...

Duration:00:37:06

513- The Safety Bicycle

10/25/2022
The basic mechanics of the bike are pretty simple --- it’s basically a triangle with wheels and a chain drive to propel it forward. No batteries or engines. It seems obvious in hindsight .... And that’s why most people guess the bike was invented a long time ago. Yet the ‘running machine,' a kind of early proto-bike, debuted around 1817. For much more on the history of the bicycle, check out Jody Rosen's book: Two Wheels Good: The History and Mystery of the Bicycle. The Safety Bicycle

Duration:00:33:17

512- Walk of Fame

10/18/2022
Even if you haven't made the pilgrimage to Southern California, you can probably already picture what the Walk of Fame looks like. It's a 1.3 mile walkway lined with terrazzo and brass squares. Each slab spotlights a salmon-pink star, and the name of a different famous celebrity deemed worthy enough to become a permanent part of Hollywood's urban fabric. The Walk of Fame is the story of Hollywood, the film industry. and the very origin of stardom itself. Reporter/producer Gillian Jacobs...

Duration:00:47:20

511- Vuvuzela

10/11/2022
The vuvuzela is a two foot long injection-molded plastic horn. It only plays one note: a B flat. And it gradually became a regular feature of South African soccer. But prior to the 2010 World Cup, the rest of the world had never heard anything quite like it. Even people in the soccer world didn’t know what they were. But by the time the first game of the tournament was underway, vuvuzelas were all over. For critics, the vuvuzela was a relatively new, mass produced noisemaker. But supporters...

Duration:00:32:12

Revisionist History- The Department of Physiological Hygiene

10/7/2022
This is the story of an experiment. It’s from a show I love called Revisionist History, by bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell. This season he’s devoting every episode to experiments. There’s the experiment that brought iodized salt to our tables. Another episode looks at a kind of failed social experiment that could have reduced opioid overdoses. Anyway, it’s all fascinating — and the episode we want to share with you is no different. Malcolm has discovered a forgotten box of interviews in...

Duration:00:31:01

510- Wickedest Sound

10/4/2022
Jamaica is famous around the world for its music, including genres like ska, dub, and reggae. It’s tempting to think that the powerful amplifiers and giant speakers at the dance parties were designed to perfectly capture Jamaica’s indigenous sounds. But it’s actually the other way around. Those speakers and amps came first. And the electricians, mechanics and engineers who built and adapted that technology would then play a decisive role in the creation of Jamaica’s modern music. They helped...

509- Tale of the Jackalope

9/27/2022
The magical mythical "jackalope" is a essentially a horned rabbit, with antlers of different sizes and shapes. The jackalope is a mascot of the American West – inspiring an absolute river of trinkets and songs and whiskies and postcards and tall tales. Tale of the Jackalope

Duration:00:35:43

508- President Clinton Interviews Roman Mars

9/20/2022
On this special feature episode, President Bill Clinton interviews 99% Invisible host and creator Roman Mars. Roman Mars has spent his career chronicling these bits of human ingenuity that we so often take for granted—things like the utility codes, the curb cuts, the traffic signals, and much more. As host of the 99% Invisible and, with Kurt Kohlstedt, co-author of the book The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design, his work challenges all of us to look up...

Duration:00:55:57

507- Search and Ye Might Find

9/13/2022
Adam Rogers has been thinking and writing about what’s known in the industry simply as "search." For the last decade, people have been grumbling about not being able to find things online, both in our private data and on the public web, despite ever-evolving algorithms. Ever since humans started writing stuff down, the struggle has been in how to organize it all so that its contents wouldn't be lost in the stacks. Search has always been an attempt to fix that problem. Search and Ye Might...

Duration:00:42:58

506- Monumental Diplomacy

9/6/2022
In downtown Windhoek, Namibia -- at the intersection of Fidel Castro Street and Robert Mugabe Avenue -- there's an imposing gold building with an affectionate nickname: the Coffee Maker. This notable structure was built to commemorate Namibia’s fight for independence from apartheid South Africa, which it achieved in 1990. And for many of the visitors, the museum feels like a huge achievement. But for a museum that commemorates throwing off the chains of colonialism and forging a new era of...

Duration:00:42:10

505- First Errand

8/30/2022
Back in March, Netflix picked up a long running Japanese TV program based on a children’s book from the 1970s. The show is called Old Enough, but the name of the original Japanese program translates to My First Errand. Because in each episode, a child runs an errand for the very first time. Episodes are only 10 to 20 minutes long, but in that short time a toddler treats the audience to a bite-sized hero's journey. My First Errand is a gimmicky show with hokey music and a laugh track, but...

Duration:00:34:10

504- Bleep!

8/23/2022
There's a particular one-kilohertz tone that is universally understood to be covering up inappropriate words on radio and TV. But there are other options, too, like silence -- so why did this particular *bleep* sound become ubiquitous? Bleep!

Duration:00:36:27

What Roman Mars Can Learn About Con Law- The Longest Week

8/17/2022
In the final week of the most recent term, the Supreme Court decided to limit one constitutional right (abortion) and expand another constitutional right (guns). But there were other cases decided that week, which were also important and marked this as one of the most historically significant terms in over 100 years. So what happened in those other cases and why are they so important? What Roman Mars Can Learn About Con Law Subscribe: Stitcher. Apple, Spotify

Duration:00:37:13

503- Re:peat

8/9/2022
A few years back, 99pi producer Emmett FitzGerald brought us a beautiful story about peat bogs. Peat is essential for biodiversity and for the climate – it is really, really good at storing carbon. But like a lot of things we cover on the show, peat often goes unnoticed, in part because it is literally out of sight underground. We’ve noticed peat and carbon sequestration more and more in the news lately. Journalists have been brilliantly covering stories about the tree planting movement,...

Duration:00:47:40

502- 99% Vernacular: Volume 3

8/2/2022
In the final episode of our vernacular spectacular anniversary series, 99pi producers and friends of the show will be sharing more stories of regional architecture–some close to home, some on remote islands– that capture our imagination and inspire us to look deeper. Stories of Bermuda roofs, Queen Anne Cottages, and what exactly counts as an "earth tone." 99% Vernacular: Volume 3

Duration:00:35:24

501- 99% Vernacular: Volume 2

7/26/2022
Only a small percentage of architecture is actually designed by architects. And while a famous architect-designed tower in a skyline might be the best way to identify a city at a distance, up close it’s the subtle cues and vernacular design that make the city what it is. This week, 99pi producers and friends of the show share more stories about architecture we love from our hometowns and other places we've lived, but with an emphasis on examples that may be a bit shaggier, and have somewhat...

Duration:00:34:12

500- 99% Vernacular: Volume 1

7/19/2022
For the 500th episode of 99% Invisible, we started thinking about the kinds of designs that we love from the places we have lived -- and even some regional vernacular we love from places we haven’t lived, but just admire. 99% Invisible is all about who we are through the lens of the things we build. We often tell stories about how people shape the built world, but these are more about how the built world has shaped us. 99% Vernacular: Volume 1

Duration:00:34:08