99% Invisible

Fridays at 7:44am & 4:45pm

99% Invisible is a tiny radio show about design, architecture & the 99% invisible activity that shapes our world. The 99% Invisible podcast recently reached #2 in the iTunes rankings for all podcasts, as well as #1 in both the Arts and Design categories. Roman Mars is also the host, producer and program director of Public Radio Remix from PRX. 

On the August 28, 2015 edition of 99% Invisible.

On the August 21, 2015 edition of 99% Invisible.

On the August 14, 2015 edition of 99% Invisible.

On the August 7, 2015 edition of 99% Invisible.

On the July 31, 2015 edition of 99% Invisible.

On the July 24, 2015 edition of 99% Invisible.

On the July 17, 2015 edition of 99% Invisible.

On the July 10, 2015 edition of 99% Invisible.

On the July 3, 2015 edition of 99% Invisible.

99% Invisible: Heyoon

Jun 19, 2015
Illustration by Emile Holmewood.

On the June 19, 2015 edition of 99% Invisible:

Growing up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Alex Goldman was a misfit. Bored and disaffected and angry, he longed for a place to escape to. And then he found Heyoon.

On the June 12, 2015 edition of 99% Invisible.

On the June 5, 2015 edition of 99% Invisible.

99% Invisible: Details

May 22, 2015

On the May 22, 2015 edition of 99% Invisible:

It’s a stick with bristles poking out of it.

The May 15th edition of 99% Invisible was created live by Roman Mars at KALW.  It's about the most mis-used Social Security number in US history.

99% Invisible: 99% 180

May 8, 2015

On the May 7, 2015 edition of 99% Invisible:

In the beginning, former AIA-SF president Henrik Bull and the Transamerica Pyramid did not get along.

Joel Werner

On the May 1, 2015 edition of 99% Invisible:

When it was built in 1977, Citicorp Center (later renamed Citigroup Center, now called 601 Lexington) was, at 59 stories, the seventh-tallest building in the world.

99% Invisible: Unbuilt

Apr 24, 2015
Courtesy of The Urbanist.

On the April 24, 2015 edition of 99% Invisible:

There is an allure to unbuilt structures: the utopian, futuristic transports; the impossibly tall skyscrapers; even the horrible highways. They all capture our imagination with what could have been.

On the April 17, 2015 edition of 99% Invisible:

Cities are great. They have movement, activity and diversity. But go to any city and it’s pretty clear, a place can be diverse without really being integrated. This segregation isn’t accidental.

On the April 10, 2015 edition of 99% Invisible:

Though its official name is JFK Plaza, the open space near Philadelphia’s City Hall is more commonly known as LOVE Park, after the Robert Indiana sculpture installed there. 


On the March 27, 2-15 edition of 99% Invisible:

In the US, it’s called a line.  In Canada, it’s often referred to as a line-up.  Pretty much everywhere else, it’s known as a queue.

On the March 20, 2015 edition of 99% Invisible:

On the March 13, 2015 edition of 99% Invisible:

On the March 5, 2016 edition of 99% Invisible:

If you want to follow conversation threads relating to this show on social media—whether Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, Tumblr—you know to look for the hashtag: #99pi. In our current digital age, the hashtag identifies movements, events, happenings, brands—topics of all kinds. The “#” didn’t always have this meaning, though.  It’s had a few different lives.

On the February 27, 2015 episode of 99% Invisible:

Disruptive camouflage?  Think about zebras: it’s hypothesized that their stripes make it difficult for a predator to distinguish one from another when the zebras are in a large herd. The stripes also might make zebras less attractive to blood sucking horseflies. This is called disruptive camouflage.

When it comes to humans, the greatest, most jaw-droppingly spectacular application of disruptive camouflage was called Dazzle.

On the February 20, 2015 edition of 99% Invisible:

Right now there are fewer than two hundred active trademarks for sounds. A surprisingly small number, considering sound has the power make—or break—a brand.

Friday at 7:45am & 4:45pm and Saturday at 8:35am.

On this week's episode of 99% Invisible:

In 1945, Berlin was the fallen Nazi capital, carved up into two sectors—with western countries controlling the west of the city, and the Soviet Union controlling the east. West Berlin had a booming postwar economy, but life was tougher in East Berlin.  So in the decade that followed, more than 2 million people fled from east to west.  And East Germany was losing face with every East Berliner who chose to defect.

On this week's episode of 99% Invisible:

Americans love trophies. Giving them, receiving them, and watching other people give and receive them. This is what makes the Oscars such popular television programming, year after year.  The Oscar, as simple as it is, has been purposefully designed to be as desirable an object as possible.

Friday at 7:45am & 4:45pm and Saturday at 8:35am. 

99% Invisible: Vexillonaire

Jan 9, 2015

This episode of 99% is from Nov. 11, 2014.

Here’s a trick: if you want to design a kickass flag, start by drawing a one-by-one-and-a half inch rectangle on a piece of paper.

A design at these dimensions held 15 inches from your eye looks about the same as a three-by-five foot flag on a flagpole a hundred feet away.....

On this week's episode of 99% Invisible:

Vexillologists—those who study flags—tend to fall into one of two schools of thought. The first is one that focuses on history, category, and usage, and maintains that vexillologists should be scholars and historians of all flags, regardless of their designs.

The other school of vexillology, however, maintains that not all flags are created equal, and that flags can and should be redesigned, and improved.

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