99% Invisible-logo

99% Invisible

PRX

Design is everywhere in our lives, perhaps most importantly in the places where we've just stopped noticing. 99% Invisible (99 Percent Invisible) is a weekly exploration of the process and power of design and architecture. From award winning producer Roman Mars and KALW in San Francisco. Learn more: http://99percentinvisible.org Awesome people saying nice things: "Roman Mars lights the radio. His pieces conjure other worlds, grapple with big ideas, make sound three dimensional. They are smart and funny and original. The Kitchen Sisters would like to be Presidents of his Fan Club." -The Kitchen Sisters, NPR "Highly digging 99% Invisible. One of the best podcasts I've bumped into in a while." -Jad Abumrad, Radiolab "I love the show. It's wonderful. Actually reminded me of why I love radio." -Jonathan Goldstein, CBC's WireTap 99% Invisible is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX, a curated network of extraordinary, story-driven shows. Learn more at radiotopia.fm

Design is everywhere in our lives, perhaps most importantly in the places where we've just stopped noticing. 99% Invisible (99 Percent Invisible) is a weekly exploration of the process and power of design and architecture. From award winning producer Roman Mars and KALW in San Francisco. Learn more: http://99percentinvisible.org Awesome people saying nice things: "Roman Mars lights the radio. His pieces conjure other worlds, grapple with big ideas, make sound three dimensional. They are smart and funny and original. The Kitchen Sisters would like to be Presidents of his Fan Club." -The Kitchen Sisters, NPR "Highly digging 99% Invisible. One of the best podcasts I've bumped into in a while." -Jad Abumrad, Radiolab "I love the show. It's wonderful. Actually reminded me of why I love radio." -Jonathan Goldstein, CBC's WireTap 99% Invisible is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX, a curated network of extraordinary, story-driven shows. Learn more at radiotopia.fm
More Information

Location:

San Francisco, CA

Networks:

PRX

Radiotopia

Description:

Design is everywhere in our lives, perhaps most importantly in the places where we've just stopped noticing. 99% Invisible (99 Percent Invisible) is a weekly exploration of the process and power of design and architecture. From award winning producer Roman Mars and KALW in San Francisco. Learn more: http://99percentinvisible.org Awesome people saying nice things: "Roman Mars lights the radio. His pieces conjure other worlds, grapple with big ideas, make sound three dimensional. They are smart and funny and original. The Kitchen Sisters would like to be Presidents of his Fan Club." -The Kitchen Sisters, NPR "Highly digging 99% Invisible. One of the best podcasts I've bumped into in a while." -Jad Abumrad, Radiolab "I love the show. It's wonderful. Actually reminded me of why I love radio." -Jonathan Goldstein, CBC's WireTap 99% Invisible is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX, a curated network of extraordinary, story-driven shows. Learn more at radiotopia.fm

Twitter:

@romanmars

Language:

English


Episodes

311- The Barney Design

6/13/2018
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Until the early 90s, basketball uniforms were pretty tame. There had been real limits to what could be done with jerseys. All the details—the numbers, the names, the logos—had to be sewed on. Complicated graphics would have taken a massive amount of embroidery, which would have added additional weight and made the jersey hotter to wear. But dye sublimation changed everything. Sublimation is a process of printing dye directly into the fabric. Now for the first time, you could design...

Duration:00:25:30

310- 77 Steps

6/6/2018
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As the U.S. war effort ramped up in the early 1940s, the Navy put out a request for chair design submissions. They needed a chair that was fireproof, waterproof, lightweight and strong enough to survive a torpedo blast. In response, engineer named Wilton C. Dinges designed a chair made out of aluminum, bent and welded to be super strong. To show off the durability of his creation, Dinges took it up to the eighth floor of a hotel in Chicago, where the Navy was examining submissions, and...

Duration:00:26:35

309- The Vault

5/30/2018
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Svalbard is a remote Norwegian archipelago with reindeer, Arctic foxes and only around 2,500 humans -- but it is also home to a vault containing seeds for virtually every edible plant one can imagine. The mountainside Crop Trust facility has thousands of varieties of coconuts, corn, rice and more, serving as a seed backup for humanity. For each crop, there’s an envelope with 500 seeds. This featured episode from the show “Endless Thread” explores an unusual reserve of invaluable...

Duration:00:30:58

308- Curb Cuts

5/23/2018
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If you live in an American city and you don’t personally use a wheelchair, it's easy to overlook the small ramp at most intersections, between the sidewalk and the street. Today, these curb cuts are everywhere, but fifty years ago -- when an activist named Ed Roberts was young -- most urban corners featured a sharp drop-off, making it difficult for him and other wheelchair users to get between blocks without assistance. Curb Cuts

Duration:00:47:41

307- Immobile Homes

5/16/2018
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"Part of the paradox at the heart of manufactured housing," explains Esther Sullivan, a sociologist at the University of Colorado Denver "is that it's precisely the thing that makes it so affordable that also makes this a highly insecure form of housing." Sullivan says that about a third of mobile homeowners live in parks where they rent a plot of land for their home. She calls this arrangement halfway homeownership, because it’s filled with uncertainty. The property owners can raise...

Duration:00:31:13

306- Breaking Bad News

5/9/2018
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When a doctor reveals a terminal diagnosis to a patient -- that process is as delicate a procedure as any surgery, with potentially serious consequences if things go wrong. If the patient doesn’t understand their prognosis, for example, they could end up making uninformed decisions about their treatment. That's why many medical schools now offer training for students on how to break bad news, bringing in actors to help them learn how to navigate this critically important and very...

Duration:00:41:23

305- The Laff Box

5/2/2018
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For nearly five decades, the laugh track was ubiquitous on television sitcoms, but in the early 2000s, it began to disappear. What happened? How did we get from the raucous canned laughter of the Beverly Hillbillies to the silent, sly “joke every 20 seconds” of 30 Rock? The curious story of the laugh track starts with one man who created the laugh track as a homemade piece of technology that took over the sound of television and then fell out of fashion with the rise of a more modern sense...

Duration:00:42:13

304- Gander International Airport

4/25/2018
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The Gander Airport in Newfoundland was once the easternmost airfield in North America, so when transatlantic air travel was new and difficult through the mid-20th century, Gander played a critical role in getting people back and forth from Europe to America. This made the tiny town of Gander an unlikely international hub, hosting the likes of Fidel Castro, Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, and the Queen of England in the beautiful, mid-century modern lounge. The lounge and bar at the airport...

Duration:00:27:22

303- The Hair Chart

4/18/2018
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Andre Walker became famous for being Oprah Winfrey’s hair stylist, but he is also known for something else: a system that he created back in the 1990s to market his line of hair care products. The system categorizes natural hair types, and it's often referred to simply as "the hair chart." The chart identifies four hair types and within each of those categories there are different sub-types. The chart spans straight, wavy, curly, and kinky hair. For Walker, the chart was all about selling...

Duration:00:25:38

302- Lessons from Las Vegas

4/11/2018
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To this day, architects tend to turn their noses up at Las Vegas, or simply dismiss it as irrelevant to serious design theory. But as Denise Scott Brown discovered in the mid-1960s, there is so much to learn from Las Vegas about how to make architecture that speaks to people and not just to architects. Lessons from Las Vegas

Duration:00:36:57

301- Making it Rain

4/4/2018
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The battlefield has always been at the mercy of the climate, but there was a time in U.S. military history when we did more than just pray for advantageous weather. We tried to create it. Making it Rain

Duration:00:31:30

300- Airships and the Future that Never Was

3/28/2018
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They are hulking, but graceful -- human-made whales that float in the air. For over a century, lighter-than-air vehicles have captured the public imagination, playing a recurring role in our dreams of alternate realities and futures that might have been. In these visions, cargo and passengers traverse the globe in smoothly gliding aircraft, then dock elegantly at the mooring towers on top of Art Deco skyscrapers. Today, blimps are mostly just PR gimmicks, but for 100 years,...

Duration:00:22:29

299- Gerrymandering

3/21/2018
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The way we draw our political districts has a huge effect on U.S. politics, but the process is also greatly misunderstood. Gerrymandering has become a scapegoat for what’s wrong with the polarized American political system, blamed for marginalizing groups and rigging elections, but there’s no simple, one-size-fits-all design solution for drawing fair districts. Drawing districts may be the most important design problem of representative democracy and this week FiveThirtyEight will guide us...

Duration:00:48:26

200- Miss Manhattan Redux

3/14/2018
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All around the country, there stands a figure so much a part of historical architecture and urban landscapes that she is rarely noticed. She has gone by many names, from Star Maiden to Priestess of Culture, Spirit of Life to Mourning Victory. Now nearly forgotten, Audrey Munson was once the most famous artist’s model in the United States. In and beyond her time, she has represented many things, including truth, memory, seasons, the stars, and even the universe itself. Immortalized in...

Duration:00:26:25

298- Fordlandia

3/7/2018
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In the late 1920s, the Ford Motor Company bought up millions of acres of land in Brazil. They loaded boats with machinery and supplies, and shipped them deep into the Amazon rainforest. Workers cut down trees and cleared the land and then they built a rubber plantation in the middle of one of the wildest places on earth. But Henry Ford wanted this community -- called “Fordlândia” -- to be more than just a huge plantation. He envisioned an industrial utopia. He paid his Brazilian workers...

Duration:00:32:18

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

2/28/2018
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The Bijlmermeer (or Bijlmer, for short) was built just outside of Amsterdam in the 1960s. It was designed by modernist architects to be a "city of the future" with its functions separated into distinct zones. To Modernists, it represented a vision of the city as a well-oiled machine Upon completion, it was a massive expanse of 31 concrete towers. There were 13,000 apartments, many of them unoccupied. Just sitting there, totally empty. Listen to Part 1 of this story here. In Part 2, we...

Duration:00:35:36

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

2/21/2018
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After World War 2, city planners in Amsterdam wanted to design the perfect “City of the Future.” They decided to build a new neighborhood, close to Amsterdam, that would be a perfect encapsulation of Modernist principles. It was called the Bijlmermeer, and it tested the lofty ideas of the International Congress of Modern Architecture on a grand scale. When it was over, no one would ever try it again. Bijlmer (City of the Future, Part 1)

Duration:00:26:59

295- Making a Mark: Visual Identity with Tom Geismar

2/13/2018
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The Chase logo was introduced in 1961, when the Chase National Bank and the Bank of the Manhattan Company merged to form the Chase Manhattan Bank. At the time, few American corporations used abstract symbols for their identification. Seen as radical in that context, the Chase symbol has survived a number of subsequent mergers and has become one of the world’s most recognizable trademarks. Its graphic designer, Tom Geismar, has been a driving force in the field of design and graphic...

Duration:00:30:13

294- Border Wall

2/6/2018
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When current President Donald Trump took office, he promised to build an “an impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful, southern border wall." The first part of this episode by Radio Diaries tells two stories of what happens when, instead of people crossing the border, the border crosses the people. Then, in part two of the show, Avery Trufelman takes a closer look at eight current designs that have been turned into prototypes near the border in California. Border Wall Learn more...

Duration:00:32:10

293- Managed Retreat

1/31/2018
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In the 1970s it looked like the beloved, 200-year-old Cape Hatteras lighthouse was in danger. The sea was getting closer and threatening to swallow it up. And people were torn over what to do about it - they could move the lighthouse, or leave it in place and try to defend it against the forces of nature. For the next 30 years, the locals fought an intense political battle over this decision. It’s the kind of battle we can expect to see a lot more of as sea levels rise and threaten coastal...

Duration:00:34:15