99% Invisible

Stitcher Podcasts

Design is everywhere in our lives, perhaps most importantly in the places where we've just stopped noticing. 99% Invisible is a weekly exploration of the process and power of design and architecture. From award winning producer Roman Mars. Learn more at 99percentinvisible.org.

Location:

San Francisco, CA

Description:

Design is everywhere in our lives, perhaps most importantly in the places where we've just stopped noticing. 99% Invisible is a weekly exploration of the process and power of design and architecture. From award winning producer Roman Mars. Learn more at 99percentinvisible.org.

Twitter:

@romanmars

Language:

English


Episodes

523- Six-on-Six Basketball

1/31/2023
In the 20th century, Iowa high school girls basketball was HUGE but it was not the game we know today. In 6-on-6 basketball, the three forwards only play offense. And the three guards only play defense. No one is allowed to leave their assigned half of the court. 6-on-6 still uses the full length of a basketball court, but in a different way than 5-on-5. In 6-player, three forwards from one team and three guards from the opposing team play at one end of the court. Meanwhile their teammates...

Duration:00:41:48

522- The Comrades

1/24/2023
If you live in South Africa, you definitely know someone who runs ultra-marathons, probably lots of someones. Here, ultras are the stuff of a whole country’s new years resolutions and mid-life crises. They’re the kind of thing that a totally ordinary, not-athletic person wakes up one day and decides they’re going to do -- and then does. In one of the most economically unequal countries in the world, extreme distance running is a sport that feels like it includes everybody. And improbably,...

Duration:00:42:05

521- A Sea of Yellow

1/17/2023
Back in 2017 we ran an episode about the history of Brazil's iconic, yellow national soccer jersey. We were reminded of that story during the recent world cup, and then again on January 8th as a mob of right wing rioters attacked the Brazilian capital, many of them wearing those iconic yellow shirts. Needless to say the story of the yellow jersey has taken some real twists and turns in recent years, so today we’re going to rerun the original story about the jersey’s origins, and then...

Duration:00:39:42

520- Mini-Stories: Volume 16

1/10/2023
We’re kicking off the new year at 99pi with a fresh installment of mini-stories, including: what lies at the intersection of a street and a road; the most unlikely of theme parks; and the evolution of ancient alleyways in Beijing, China. Mini-Stories: Volume

Duration:00:38:48

519- Balikbayan Boxes

12/21/2022
This time of year, right in the middle of the holiday season, there's a beloved, frenzied tradition playing out in Filipino households all around the world, with which reporter Gabrielle Berbey is intimately familiar. A Balikbayan box is a huge cardboard box (often weighing over 100 pounds) that Filipinos living all over the world send to family members who are still living in the Philippines. The word Balikbayan literally means homecoming in Tagalog. Balikbayan Boxes

Duration:00:42:42

518- Mini-Stories: Volume 15

12/13/2022
The whole conceit of this show is that if look at the world in the right way, you’ll see stories everywhere. Some of the stories are epic power struggles chronicling the construction of a famous skyscraper or the founding of a city; but other stories are more modest, smaller in scope and scale. We call those mini-stories and they're part of an ongoing, end-of-the-year tradition in which 99pi producers and friends of the show talk to host Roman Mars about something cool and fun that you can...

Duration:00:45:50

517- The Divided Dial

12/6/2022
If you’ve ever flipped through the radio dial — not satellite, not podcasts, but good old-fashioned AM and FM radio — you may have noticed something. Right wing radio talk is everywhere. But the airwaves weren't always so dominated by such a narrow range of voices. Reporter and friend of the show Katie Thornton has the story of how talk radio has evolved (and perhaps devolved at times) over the past century, and what all of it means for the airwaves today. The Divided Dial Hear the rest...

Duration:00:47:23

516- Cougar Town

11/29/2022
Wildlife and urban development don’t usually go well together. Roads in particular fracture the habitats of wide-ranging animals. It restricts their movements and makes it harder for them to find food or a mate. But biologists and urban planners have started working together –- crafting a plan to try to help pumas move more safely around the city. And in the process this one cat, dubbed P-22, has turned into something of a celebrity—the symbol of a movement to redesign our cities and make...

Duration:00:34:19

515- Super Citizens

11/22/2022
Los Angeles' El Peatonito is part of a subset of real life superheroes who are more focused on things like picking up trash and taking on civic issues than catching criminals in alleys. These super citizens take their inspiration from comic books but in some ways have more ambitious goals than defeating a make believe villain. They are out to solve big societal problems. Wherever a city is plagued by traffic accidents, or people are living on the streets…these heroes heed the call of...

Duration:00:33:36

405- Freedom House Ambulance Service: American Sirens

11/15/2022
When people ask me what my favorite episode of 99% Invisible is, I have a hard time answering. Not because they’re all my precious little babies or some such nonsense, but mostly it’s because I just can’t remember them all and there’s no simple criteria to judge them against each other. But the show is definitely in contention for the best episode we’ve ever made. It just has everything– engaging storytellers, brilliant reporting, and a compelling history of a moment when the world really...

Duration:00:52:47

514- Train Set: Track Two

11/8/2022
Funiculars are great, which is why the main image from our previous train episode featured one -- except we didn't actually talk about that one during the show. It's a cable car from Wellington, and as it turns out it's one of hundreds of funiculars in this city. Roman and Kurt are back with another series of railroad tales. All aboard! Train Set: Track Two

Duration:00:38:17

Articles of Interest: American Ivy

11/1/2022
Articles of Interest is a show about what we wear. Host and producer Avery Trufelman investigates our collectively held beliefs about fashion and explores topics like the intellectual property law behind knockoffs, creation of tartan and the history of plaid, and how a dolls in a rural museum in Washington state saved French haute couture. This new season investigates a style that keeps coming back again and again and again. Previously part of 99% Invisible, the show is now an independent...

Duration:00:37:06

513- The Safety Bicycle

10/25/2022
The basic mechanics of the bike are pretty simple --- it’s basically a triangle with wheels and a chain drive to propel it forward. No batteries or engines. It seems obvious in hindsight .... And that’s why most people guess the bike was invented a long time ago. Yet the ‘running machine,' a kind of early proto-bike, debuted around 1817. For much more on the history of the bicycle, check out Jody Rosen's book: Two Wheels Good: The History and Mystery of the Bicycle. The Safety Bicycle

Duration:00:33:17

512- Walk of Fame

10/18/2022
Even if you haven't made the pilgrimage to Southern California, you can probably already picture what the Walk of Fame looks like. It's a 1.3 mile walkway lined with terrazzo and brass squares. Each slab spotlights a salmon-pink star, and the name of a different famous celebrity deemed worthy enough to become a permanent part of Hollywood's urban fabric. The Walk of Fame is the story of Hollywood, the film industry. and the very origin of stardom itself. Reporter/producer Gillian Jacobs...

Duration:00:47:20

511- Vuvuzela

10/11/2022
The vuvuzela is a two foot long injection-molded plastic horn. It only plays one note: a B flat. And it gradually became a regular feature of South African soccer. But prior to the 2010 World Cup, the rest of the world had never heard anything quite like it. Even people in the soccer world didn’t know what they were. But by the time the first game of the tournament was underway, vuvuzelas were all over. For critics, the vuvuzela was a relatively new, mass produced noisemaker. But supporters...

Duration:00:32:12

Revisionist History- The Department of Physiological Hygiene

10/7/2022
This is the story of an experiment. It’s from a show I love called Revisionist History, by bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell. This season he’s devoting every episode to experiments. There’s the experiment that brought iodized salt to our tables. Another episode looks at a kind of failed social experiment that could have reduced opioid overdoses. Anyway, it’s all fascinating — and the episode we want to share with you is no different. Malcolm has discovered a forgotten box of interviews in...

Duration:00:31:01

510- Wickedest Sound

10/4/2022
Jamaica is famous around the world for its music, including genres like ska, dub, and reggae. It’s tempting to think that the powerful amplifiers and giant speakers at the dance parties were designed to perfectly capture Jamaica’s indigenous sounds. But it’s actually the other way around. Those speakers and amps came first. And the electricians, mechanics and engineers who built and adapted that technology would then play a decisive role in the creation of Jamaica’s modern music. They helped...

509- Tale of the Jackalope

9/27/2022
The magical mythical "jackalope" is a essentially a horned rabbit, with antlers of different sizes and shapes. The jackalope is a mascot of the American West – inspiring an absolute river of trinkets and songs and whiskies and postcards and tall tales. Tale of the Jackalope

Duration:00:35:43

508- President Clinton Interviews Roman Mars

9/20/2022
On this special feature episode, President Bill Clinton interviews 99% Invisible host and creator Roman Mars. Roman Mars has spent his career chronicling these bits of human ingenuity that we so often take for granted—things like the utility codes, the curb cuts, the traffic signals, and much more. As host of the 99% Invisible and, with Kurt Kohlstedt, co-author of the book The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design, his work challenges all of us to look up...

Duration:00:55:57

507- Search and Ye Might Find

9/13/2022
Adam Rogers has been thinking and writing about what’s known in the industry simply as "search." For the last decade, people have been grumbling about not being able to find things online, both in our private data and on the public web, despite ever-evolving algorithms. Ever since humans started writing stuff down, the struggle has been in how to organize it all so that its contents wouldn't be lost in the stacks. Search has always been an attempt to fix that problem. Search and Ye Might...

Duration:00:42:58