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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


150 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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When Spain became concerned that too many poor people were spending money they didn't have to play the lottery, they redesigned the game to make it...

  • Added: Jul 28, 2017
  • Length: 22:58
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Over the decades since its invention, the birth control pill has traveled from nondescript prescription bottles into some of the most heavily desig...

  • Added: Jul 17, 2017
  • Length: 17:52
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This is the story of a distinctively curved swimming pool born in Northern Europe that went on to shape popular culture in Southern California as w...

  • Added: Jul 06, 2017
  • Length: 30:34
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Among other groundbreaking aspects of the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, the graphic design campaign would become one of the most famous in the hist...

  • Added: Jun 29, 2017
  • Length: 21:58
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This week’s all request episode starts with story ideas from #99pi fans and explores where that path leads us (aptly including "desire paths," one ...

  • Added: Jun 27, 2017
  • Length: 25:35
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The construction of Oriole Park at Camden Yards was the beginning of the end for generic multipurpose stadiums. Producer Emmett FitzGerald has the ...

Bought by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation


  • Added: Jun 27, 2017
  • Length: 21:14
  • Purchases: 1
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The building had been abandoned and was now owned by the city, but it remained empty and unmaintained. It was full of rubble. Some of the walls wer...

Bought by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation


  • Added: Jun 05, 2017
  • Length: 22:51
  • Purchases: 1
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As the built environment gave way, a kind of alternate human infrastructure snapped into place. And at the heart of it was reporter Genie Chance. T...

  • Added: Jun 05, 2017
  • Length: 27:14
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In the town of Colma, the dead outnumber the living 1,000 to 1. Located just south of San Francisco, it is filled with rolling green hills and mani...

  • Added: Jun 02, 2017
  • Length: 17:36
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The Brazilian soccer shirt is iconic. Its bright canary yellow with green trim (worn with blue shorts and white socks) is known worldwide. But the ...

  • Added: Jun 01, 2017
  • Length: 19:11
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As much as people want to believe it’s all real, nature documentaries are still movies and they need a little movie magic just like any other film....

  • Added: May 02, 2017
  • Length: 22:42
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In the mid-century golden era of Hollywood, new movie industry titans flocking to L.A. could commission whatever kinds of dream homes they desired....

  • Added: May 02, 2017
  • Length: 19:43
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Manzanar was undoubtedly a prison, but the Japanese Americans inside did everything they could to turn it into a livable community. This episode's ...

  • Added: May 01, 2017
  • Length: 23:48
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Decommunization laws banning Soviet symbols have radically reshaped the built environment of Ukraine over the past few years. More than 50,000 obje...

  • Added: Mar 27, 2017
  • Length: 21:11
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Logo redesigns these days seem to inevitably spark controversies, whether they be for political candidates or corporate brands. Graphic designer Mi...

  • Added: Mar 27, 2017
  • Length: 41:36
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Frank Lloyd Wright believed that the buildings we live in shape the kinds of people we become, and by extension, the culture of a nation. In Usonia...

  • Added: Mar 27, 2017
  • Length: 17:54
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Frank Lloyd Wright changed the field of architecture, and not just through his most famous buildings. Before completing Fallingwater or the Guggenh...

  • Added: Mar 27, 2017
  • Length: 24:44
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In response to a mass migration across the U.S. border in the 1980s, a network of churches declared themselves “sanctuaries,” offering shelter to C...

Bought by KALW


  • Added: Mar 09, 2017
  • Length: 27:52
  • Purchases: 1
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In the 1980s, a small church in Arizona helped spark a new and controversial social movement based on an ancient religious concept. In this two-par...

  • Added: Mar 09, 2017
  • Length: 26:45
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Growing out of nuclear initiatives like Atoms for Peace, atomic gardens of the 1950s and 60s used radioactive material to genetically alter plants ...

Bought by New Hampshire Public Radio and XRAY.fm


  • Added: Mar 09, 2017
  • Length: 17:55
  • Purchases: 2