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


197 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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Dinosaurs used to be depicted as big, dumb, cold-blooded reptiles. They were thought of as evolutionary failures destined for extinction. And that ...

  • Added: Oct 26, 2018
  • Length: 20:01
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In the 1860s and 1870s, white settlers from the areas around Indian Territory — like Kansas and Texas — started to realize that there was vast piec...

  • Added: Oct 19, 2018
  • Length: 22:19
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For the contest, three people would ascend 30 up a ladder to a platform running under a WSAN billboard. Whoever stayed up the longest would walk aw...

  • Added: Sep 24, 2018
  • Length: 22:44
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A straw is a simple thing. It’s a tube, a conveyance mechanism for liquid. The defining characteristic of the straw is the emptiness inside it. Thi...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Sep 11, 2018
  • Length: 19:00
  • Purchases: 1
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The thousands of pages in a vintage Sears catalog are like a snapshot of the world as it was a century ago. And starting in 1908, the company that ...

  • Added: Sep 24, 2018
  • Length: 23:07
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In 2017 alone over 12,500 Asian Americans had double eyelid surgery. Given the history of the procedure, it makes sense that some people in the U.S...

  • Added: Sep 04, 2018
  • Length: 19:28
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The Thomas Fire burned more than 280,000 acres. It eventually burned into the still-fresh scars from other recent fires and simply put itself out. ...

Bought by KBUT and PRX Remix


  • Added: Aug 21, 2018
  • Length: 25:57
  • Purchases: 2
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When Jack Cohen studied wildfires, he discovered that houses that had burned down were surrounded by green trees. This made him radically rethink h...

Bought by KBUT and KPIK-LP


  • Added: Aug 02, 2018
  • Length: 28:05
  • Purchases: 2
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Four times every day, on radios all across the United Kingdom, a BBC announcer begins reading from a seemingly indecipherable script. “And now the ...

  • Added: Aug 02, 2018
  • Length: 16:10
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In his article “Making a New Point...," ad man and type nerd Martin Speckter proposed the first new mark of English language punctuation in 300 yea...

  • Added: Jul 24, 2018
  • Length: 16:33
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Young ramblers of Manchester set in motion changes that would transform how England thinks about private property. The Kinder Scout trespass has be...

Bought by WCAI / WNAN


  • Added: Jun 28, 2018
  • Length: 21:58
  • Purchases: 1
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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 ...

Bought by WCAI / WNAN and KFAI


  • Added: May 25, 2018
  • Length: 31:29
  • Purchases: 2
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"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...

Bought by KZMU Moab Community Radio


  • Added: May 25, 2018
  • Length: 21:53
  • Purchases: 1
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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
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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
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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