99% Invisible (Director's Cut)

Series produced by Roman Mars

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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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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
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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 adva...

  • Added: May 08, 2018
  • Length: 22:42
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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
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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...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Mar 19, 2018
  • Length: 22:30
  • Purchases: 1
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Our last episode of 2017 is something special: four stories from four different 99pi producers - Project Habakkuk by Katie Mingle, The Green Coloss...

  • Added: Feb 02, 2018
  • Length: 35:40
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At some point in your life you’ve probably encountered a problem in the built world where the fix was obvious to you. Maybe a door that opened the ...

  • Added: Dec 19, 2017
  • Length: 12:59
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The current culture of heavily regulated and data-driven auto safety engineering did not always exist. For decades, automakers tried to keep data a...

  • Added: Dec 19, 2017
  • Length: 26:14
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For a long time, anti-counterfeiting laws made it illegal to show US currency in movies. Now you can show real money, but fake money is often prefe...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Dec 19, 2017
  • Length: 16:30
  • Purchases: 1
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When a new movie comes out, most of the plaudits go to people like the director, the producer and the lead actors. But graphic designers working be...

  • Added: Dec 19, 2017
  • Length: 24:12
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Some buildings in the Ville are simply rundown or abandoned, but others are missing large chunks entirely. Walls have disappeared. The beautiful ol...

  • Added: Dec 19, 2017
  • Length: 23:45
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New York was built at the mouth of the Hudson River, and that fertile estuary environment was filled with all kinds of marine life. But one creatur...

  • Added: Oct 31, 2017
  • Length: 22:54
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The edge of Skid Row is clearly defined and it wasn’t drawn by accident. It’s the result of a very specific plan to keep homeless people on one sid...

  • Added: Oct 26, 2017
  • Length: 22:33
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With so many industries and people crossing borders with so much fluidity, why has the U.S. not fully committed to the metric system the rest of th...

  • Added: Oct 25, 2017
  • Length: 24:02
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There are a lot of old Gothic churches in Spain, but this one is different. It looks organic, like it was built out of bones or sand, and it is sti...

  • Added: Oct 25, 2017
  • Length: 27:11