99% Invisible (Director's Cut)

Series produced by Roman Mars

Series image

Trying to comprehend the 99% invisible activity that shapes the design of our world.

A tiny radio show about design, architecture & the 99% invisible activity that shapes our world. From producer Roman Mars and KALW in San Francisco.

In August 2012, 99% Invisible became the highest-funded journalism project in Kickstarter history, raising over $170,000 from 5661 backers.

With over 4 million downloads online, 99% Invisible recently peaked at #2 in iTunes ranking for all podcasts in the US, and had occupied the #1 spot in both the Arts and Design categories.

"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, Peabody Award-winning producers for NPR

"We think what he’s doing is inspiring. It has a kind of rhythm and musicality that you don’t normally find in radio or podcast storytelling."
-Jad Abumrad, Radiolab

"I love the show. It's wonderful. [It] actually reminded me of why I love radio."
-Jonathan Goldstein, CBC's WireTap

"Mars is the Ira Glass of design."
-Allison Arieff, The New York Times Opinionator design columnist

Learn more: http://99percentinvisible.org Hide full description

A tiny radio show about design, architecture & the 99% invisible activity that shapes our world. From producer Roman Mars and KALW in San Francisco.

In August 2012, 99% Invisible became the highest-funded journalism project in Kickstarter history, raising over $170,000 from 5661 backers.

With over 4 million downloads online, 99% Invisible recently peaked at #2 in iTunes ranking for all podcasts in the US, and had occupied the #1 spot in both the Arts and Design categories. "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, Peabody Award-winning producers for NPR "We think what he’s doing... Show full description


187 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Piece image
Young ramblers of Manchester set in motion changes that would transform how England thinks about private property. The Kinder Scout trespass has be...

  • Added: Jun 28, 2018
  • Length: 21:58
Piece image
Medellin, Colombia, once overshadowed by drug lord Pablo Escobar, went from being the bloody cocaine capital of the world into a place that’s often...

  • Added: Jun 26, 2018
  • Length: 24:05
Piece image
In hindsight, the notable part of the game wasn’t how the two teams played, but the way they looked. The Bulls were dressed in red jerseys with the...

Bought by KMRE-LP and WOUB


  • Added: Jun 14, 2018
  • Length: 15:52
  • Purchases: 2
Piece image
As the U.S. war effort ramped up in the early 1940s, the needed a chair that was fireproof, waterproof, lightweight and strong enough to survive a ...

Bought by KMRE-LP


  • Added: Jun 06, 2018
  • Length: 17:08
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
Today, blimps are mostly just PR gimmicks, but for over a century, lighter-than-air crafts have been backed by large companies and, at times, whole...

Bought by PRX Remix and KMRE-LP


  • Added: Jun 05, 2018
  • Length: 14:40
  • Purchases: 2
Piece image
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 ...

  • Added: May 25, 2018
  • Length: 31:29
Piece image
"Part of the paradox at the heart of manufactured housing is that it's precisely the thing that makes it so affordable that also makes this a highl...

  • Added: May 25, 2018
  • Length: 21:53
Piece image
It turns out that one of the first doctors to recognize the challenges of doctor-patient communication wasn’t just a physician — he was also a come...

  • Added: May 09, 2018
  • Length: 29:43
Piece image
Anyone who was anyone stopped by this airport. The Beatles’ first steps on the North American continent weren’t in New York — they were in Gander, ...

  • Added: May 08, 2018
  • Length: 19:59
Piece image
Beyond Oprah’s hair, Andre Walker is know for a system that he created back in the 1990s that categorizes natural hair types, often referred to sim...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: May 08, 2018
  • Length: 19:37
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
In Denise, Robert found a kindred spirit — they were both into Mannerism and other kinds of decorative architecture with fun and elaborate visual e...

  • Added: May 08, 2018
  • Length: 25:11
Piece image
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 adva...

  • Added: May 08, 2018
  • Length: 22:42
Piece image
Host Roman Mars talks with legendary graphic designer Tom Geismar, who cites three key ingredients for a successful logo. It should be (1) Appropri...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Mar 19, 2018
  • Length: 20:10
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
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...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Mar 19, 2018
  • Length: 22:30
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
An influx of new residents, as well as a tragic accident, kick-started a redesign that managed to do what the Modernists neglected to do: listen to...

  • Added: Mar 19, 2018
  • Length: 25:51
Piece image
After World War II, city planners in Amsterdam wanted to design a “City of the Future” - a perfect encapsulation of Modernist principles. The place...

  • Added: Mar 19, 2018
  • Length: 20:48
Piece image
Sometimes, moving a building is about preserving historic architecture, cultural heritage or local businesses. But for one telecommunications struc...

  • Added: Feb 05, 2018
  • Length: 27:46
Piece image
Roman talks with cartoonist and theorist Scott McCloud, author of Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. Together, they explore the history, deve...

  • Added: Feb 05, 2018
  • Length: 26:42
Piece image
Air conditioning technology dramatically changed the design of homes, and helped drive mass migrations to hot states like Arizona and Florida. It a...

Bought by KHNS


  • Added: Feb 02, 2018
  • Length: 24:41
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
More great mini-stories for the new year by Delaney Hall (The Backward Index), Vivian Le (Auditory Icons), Sharif Youssef (Modern Alchemists) and A...

  • Added: Feb 02, 2018
  • Length: 35:45