483 episodes

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.
A proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Learn more at radiotopia.fm.

99% Invisibl‪e‬ Radiotopia

    • Design
    • 4.8 • 164 Ratings

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.
A proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Learn more at radiotopia.fm.

    432- The Batman and the Bridge Builder

    432- The Batman and the Bridge Builder

    Mark Bloschock is an engineer from Texas, and in the late 1970s he got a job with the Texas Department of Transportation renovating the Congress Avenue Bridge. The bridge was a simple concrete arch bridge that spans Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin. It needed to be rebuilt with more contemporary beams called “box beams.” The box beams sit below the road’s surface, and they needed to be spaced a certain distance apart. Bloschock and the other engineers decided that the gap should be somewhere between ¾ of an inch and an inch and a half, which didn’t seem like a particularly meaningful decision… until the bats moved in.

    A tale of bats and bridges and how the built environment and the natural environment don’t need to be at odds with one another.

    The Batman and the Bridge Builder

    Plus, we talk with Simon Doble, CEO of Solar Buddy. Light access (both day and night) is a basic need many people take for granted. SolarBuddy is an Australian charity uniting a global community with a big dream to gift six million solar lights to children living in energy poverty by 2030, to help them to study after dusk and improve their education outcomes.

    99% Invisible’s Impact Design coverage is supported by Autodesk. The Autodesk Foundation supports the design and creation of innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing social and environmental challenges. Learn more about these efforts on Autodesk’s Redshift, which tells stories about the future of making across architecture, engineering, infrastructure and manufacturing.

    • 33 min
    431- 12 Heads from the Garden of Perfect Brightness

    431- 12 Heads from the Garden of Perfect Brightness

    The story of the twelve bronze zodiac heads that are at the center of a fight over the repatriation of Chinese cultural heritage. Most believe all such cultural artifacts should return to China, but many others argue that these objects are also serving as nationalistic propaganda.

    12 Heads from the Garden of Perfect Brightness

    • 36 min
    Judas and the Black Messiah, Episode 1: The Chairman

    Judas and the Black Messiah, Episode 1: The Chairman

    Proximity, 99% Invisible, and Warner Bros. present the “Judas and the Black Messiah Podcast,” an official film companion from the Radiotopia podcast network from PRX.

    In the “Judas and the Black Messiah Podcast,” host and critic Elvis Mitchell of KCRW is joined by Chairman Fred Hampton Jr. — son of Chairman Fred Hampton and head of the Black Panther Party Cubs — as well as the film’s actors and creative team, and by members of the Black Panther Party who knew Chairman Fred Hampton. Together, they look at the true stories behind the events portrayed in the film.

    In episode 1, we get the real story of how Fred Hampton became The Chairman.

    Watch the film and subscribe to the rest of the series here:

    Apple Podcasts

    Stitcher

    • 36 min
    430- The Doom Boom

    430- The Doom Boom

    Bradley Garrett is the author of Bunker: Building for the Times. People have always built underground survival shelters to stay safe from things like plagues or hurricanes. But in modern history, we've really outdone ourselves. Garrett will be our guide to the fascinating world of architecture for the end times. And we're going to find out why today we're going through a true bunker renaissance.

    The Doom Boom

    • 33 min
    Judas and the Black Messiah Trailer from 99% Invisible and Proximity Media

    Judas and the Black Messiah Trailer from 99% Invisible and Proximity Media

    Proximity, 99% Invisible, and Warner Bros. present the “Judas and the Black Messiah Podcast,” an official film companion from the Radiotopia podcast network from PRX.

    In the “Judas and the Black Messiah Podcast,” host and critic Elvis Mitchell of KCRW is joined by Chairman Fred Hampton Jr. — son of Chairman Fred Hampton and head of the Black Panther Party Cubs — as well as the film’s actors and creative team, and by members of the Black Panther Party who knew Chairman Fred Hampton. Together, they look at the true stories behind the events portrayed in the film.

    Subscribe and look for episode 1 February 12

    Apple Podcasts

    Stitcher

    • 3 min
    429- Stuccoed in Time

    429- Stuccoed in Time

    Santa Fe is famous in part for a particular architectural style, an adobe (mudbrick) look that came to be called Pueblo Revival. This aesthetic combines elements of indigenous pueblo architecture and the New Mexico's old Spanish missions, resulting in mostly low, brown buildings with smooth edges. Buildings in the city's historical districts in particular have to follow a number of design guidelines so that they fit this desired look; deviating from those aesthetics can stir up a lot of controversy.  But this adherence to a single style hasn't always been the norm -- for a time, there was actually a powerful push to "Americanize" the city's built environment. Then, over a century ago, a group of preservationists laid out a vision for the look and feel of Santa Fe architecture, and in the process changed the city forever.

    Stuccoed in Time

    • 43 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
164 Ratings

164 Ratings

Maeve MacGlinchey ,

100% fantastic

Love this podcast for it’s writing, production, and Roman Mars’ calming voice!

@kem.inc ,

Incredible

Seriously incredible podcast! Always well written and the attention to detail in everything they do is great.

YolandiSchreuder ,

Original, attention-grabbing

Definitely THE BEST podcast out there, no really! As an Industrial Designer based in South Africa, I'm used to having to explain myself, "what is an industrial designer?" As the name states, I find 99% Invisible often covers topics/ designs/ systems etc. which people take for granted or just assume that it has always "just been there" such as Episode 308 - Curb Cutting

Basically they cover topics of things "I've often wondered about" such as who's behind the designs of certain emoji's, why the kidney shape pool is so iconic etc.

Also, the podcasts are just long enough not to get bored of it and the presenters' voices don't make me fall asleep or lose concentration. If only university lecturers sounded this professional, class might've been interesting (in my case at least ;)

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