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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


157 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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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
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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 MPR News Stations


  • Added: Sep 26, 2017
  • Length: 22:01
  • Purchases: 1
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Tech analysts estimate that over six billion emojis are sent each day. But who decides which ones are available to users on their various devices a...

  • Added: Aug 25, 2017
  • Length: 26:51
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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...

Bought by Prairie Public


  • Added: Jul 17, 2017
  • Length: 17:52
  • Purchases: 1
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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