We're working on a new version of PRX. Want a sneak peek?

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


171 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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
Piece image
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
Piece image
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
Piece image
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
Piece image
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...

  • Added: Dec 19, 2017
  • Length: 16:30
Piece image
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
Piece image
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
Piece image
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
Piece image
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
Piece image
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
Piece image
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
Piece image
Ponte City has towered over Johannesburg for decades, but over time it has gone from a symbol of white opulence to something far more complicated. ...

  • Added: Sep 27, 2017
  • Length: 24:15
Piece image
There’s been a lot of excitement lately around universal basic income, especially due to one particular experiment launched earlier this year. Aver...

Bought by WUTC and MPR News Stations


  • Added: Sep 26, 2017
  • Length: 22:01
  • Purchases: 2
Piece image
Coal mining stickers evolved from little industry advertisements into something bigger and more personal. They began helping miners stay safe while...

  • Added: Sep 26, 2017
  • Length: 15:09
Piece image
Computer algorithms shape our world in profound and mostly invisible ways. And their creators often like to talk about how objective they are, clai...

  • Added: Sep 26, 2017
  • Length: 19:45
Piece image
In the early 1800s, the human body was like a black box when it came to illness, its inner workings a mystery. The arrival of the stethoscope trans...

  • Added: Aug 25, 2017
  • Length: 17:37
Piece image
Hundreds of years ago, the natural dangers of the Great Dismal Swamp were detested by British colonists -- but these same harsh conditions also att...

  • Added: Aug 25, 2017
  • Length: 22:03