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
Piece image
Without their beeps and chimes, all of your modern conveniences would be very hard to use

Bought by Spokane Public Radio, KZYX, WABE, New Hampshire Public Radio, and KUOW


  • Added: Nov 05, 2012
  • Length: 04:51
  • Purchases: 5
Piece image
No one's favorite part of living in an urban area is finding a place to park your car. But a re-designed parking system in San Francisco may take t...

Bought by KUOW and KUOW


  • Added: Nov 05, 2012
  • Length: 04:51
  • Purchases: 2
Piece image
In the language that means hope, the sky is blueing.

Bought by WABE and KUOW


  • Added: Nov 06, 2012
  • Length: 05:54
  • Purchases: 2
Piece image
In 1965, the people of Toronto were revolting against City Hall. Over furniture. Made out of concrete.

Bought by KUOW


  • Added: Nov 06, 2012
  • Length: 06:33
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
One could argue that check cashing stores do a lot of things that are just plain wrong. But given so many people use them, what are they doing right?

Bought by New Hampshire Public Radio, KMUZ, and KUOW


  • Added: Nov 06, 2012
  • Length: 05:06
  • Purchases: 3
Piece image
The story of the guy who etched his name in 1,000 slabs of San Francisco concrete--and the reporter who spent years tracking him down.

Bought by New Hampshire Public Radio and KUOW


  • Added: Nov 06, 2012
  • Length: 06:53
  • Purchases: 2
Piece image
The inscription on the granite reads, “This soil and the air space extending above it shall not be a part of any nation...”

Bought by WABE, New Hampshire Public Radio, and KUOW


  • Added: Nov 06, 2012
  • Length: 07:33
  • Purchases: 3
Piece image
When the District recovered the old Capitol columns, it forgot about the other fragments that had also once held up the country's icon of democracy.

Bought by KUOW and WSLR


  • Added: Nov 07, 2012
  • Length: 06:29
  • Purchases: 2
Piece image
Imagine you're a country with 17 timezones. Your citizens want cassette players, but your factories only make tanks. What do you do?

Bought by WABE, The Story, and KUOW


  • Added: Nov 07, 2012
  • Length: 08:00
  • Purchases: 3
Piece image
I bet you think could pantomime changing lanes with an imaginary steering wheel. But you'd be very, very wrong. You’d probably kill a bunch of imag...

Bought by New Hampshire Public Radio


  • Added: Nov 07, 2012
  • Length: 07:20
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
What happens to a city when its purpose is stripped away virtually overnight?

Bought by KUOW


  • Added: Nov 07, 2012
  • Length: 09:56
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
A building’s worth is an infinitesimal fraction of the worth a person’s life. But a building is still a living thing in a way

  • Added: Nov 07, 2012
  • Length: 06:22
Piece image
What we can learn from architects who lived thousands of years ago: make buildings last longer.

Bought by New Hampshire Public Radio, Georgia Public Broadcasting, and KUT


  • Added: Nov 07, 2012
  • Length: 09:59
  • Purchases: 3
Piece image
This simple graphic design has saved thousands of lives.

  • Added: Nov 07, 2012
  • Length: 06:56
Piece image
"Airports are ugly. Some are very ugly. Some attain a degree of ugliness that can only be the result of a special effort..."

Bought by Louisville Public Media


  • Added: Nov 07, 2012
  • Length: 08:07
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
Information designer Nicholas Felton has figured out how to graph the un-graphable: a year in his life.

Bought by New Hampshire Public Radio


  • Added: Nov 07, 2012
  • Length: 08:12
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
If the suburbs had a flag, it would probably have a cul-de-sac on it. But what would it stand for?

Bought by New Hampshire Public Radio and WFMU


  • Added: Nov 07, 2012
  • Length: 09:50
  • Purchases: 2
Piece image
There's more to the Art of the Title than meets the eye.

Bought by WABE and New Hampshire Public Radio


  • Added: Nov 07, 2012
  • Length: 07:47
  • Purchases: 2
Piece image
Tompkins, Tiananmen, Tahrir...why do revolutions always start in public squares?

Bought by KUOW and The Story


  • Added: Nov 05, 2012
  • Length: 04:59
  • Purchases: 2
Piece image
The Periodic Table knew what our universe was made out of even before we did.

Bought by KZYX, New Hampshire Public Radio, and KUOW


  • Added: Nov 05, 2012
  • Length: 06:00
  • Purchases: 3