Roman Mars presents
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.
July 20, 2021
Hanko are the carved stamp seals that people in Japan often use in place of signatures. Hanko seals are made from materials ranging from plastic to jade and are about the size of a tube of lipstick
July 14, 2021
450- Stuff the British Stole
Throughout its reign, the British Empire stole a lot of stuff. Today those objects are housed in genteel institutions across the UK and the world. They usually come with polite plaques. The Australian podcast Stuff the British Stole is a six episode series about the not-so-polite history behind a few of those objects.
June 29, 2021
Every year, fights break out on airplanes. Jim Salzman and Michael Heller are law professors and the authors of a new book called Mine! How the Hidden Rules of Ownership Control Our Lives. According to Salzman and Heller, confusing ownership rules are often the result of poor ownership design. This is true not just for airplane seats, but also for battles over digital privacy, climate change, and wealth inequality.
June 23, 2021
448- Katie Mingle's Right to Roam
In the United Kingdom, the freedom to walk through private land is known as “the right to roam.” The movement to win this right was started in the 1930s by a rebellious group of young people who called themselves “ramblers” and spent their days working in the factories of Manchester, England.
June 15, 2021
447- Flag Days: The Red, the Black & the Green
The Red, Black, and Green flag was invented to unite Black people all over the world living under racial repression.
June 8, 2021
446- Flag Days: Good Luck, True South
Good Luck Flags and the search for the perfect flag for Antarctica
June 2, 2021
445- The Clinch
After Producer Katie Mingle's mom wrote a romance novel, Katie set out to understand the romance genre and its classic covers. There was a lot to unpack.
May 25, 2021
444- Pipe Dreams
This week we talk to author Chelsea Wald about her book Pipe Dreams: The Urgent Global Quest to Transform the Toilet. Wald argues the modern toilet system is in desperate need of a redesign.
May 19, 2021
443- Matters of Time
This series of time-centric stories challenges what you know (or think you know) about the way time works around the world.
May 11, 2021
442- Tanz Tanz Revolution
Today, Berlin is one of the premier destinations for techno music fans. People come from all over the world to party all night to the rhythmic beat of Berlin's club scene. And this music that the city is most famous for developed in large part because of the thing the city is most infamous for: the Berlin wall, which divided the city into east and west for almost thirty years. When the wall fell in 1989, everyone was euphoric and parties started popping up everywhere. East Berlin was like a big playground of derelict buildings. It wasn't just the abandoned apartments. There were also former military sites and factories that had been shut down and buildings that had been condemned. And these places were perfect for techno.
May 4, 2021
441- Abandoned Ships
As the number of cargo ships has increased, so has a problem: workers stuck on ships that have been completely abandoned by the owners, leaving them stranded out at sea without basic supplies like food.
April 28, 2021
308- Curb Cuts (Repeat)
If you live in an American city and you don’t personally use a wheelchair, it's easy to overlook the small ramp at most intersections, between the sidewalk and the street. Today, these curb cuts are everywhere.
April 20, 2021
440- La Brega in Levittown
What the presence of a Levittown in Puerto Rico tells us about the promises of the American Dream in Puerto Rico
April 14, 2021
439- Welcome to Jurassic Art Redux
The illustrated interpretation of dinosaur morphology and behavior has had a big impact on how the public views dinosaurs and it's gone through a couple of key turning points, including a more recent push for more speculative paleoart. Plus, we talk icebergs!
April 7, 2021
438- The Real Book
Since the mid-1970s, almost every jazz musician has owned a copy of the same book and originally it was a totally unlicensed publication
March 30, 2021
437- Science Vs Snakes
More than 100,000 people die every year from snake bites. Part of the reason people are dying is because they're not getting antivenom - the medicine required to fight the horrible toxins in snake venom- fast enough.
March 23, 2021
436- Oops, Our Bad
Intervening to try to mitigate the negative effects of the human interventions of the past
March 16, 2021
435- The Megaplex!
Back in the early 1990s, movie theaters weren't that great. The auditoriums were cramped and narrow, and the screen was dim. But in 1995, the AMC Grand 24 in Dallas changed everything.
March 9, 2021
434- Artistic License
When Idaho put a slogan on their license plates in 1928 it started a trend across all states and this would prove surprisingly contentious
March 2, 2021
433- Florence Nightingale: Data Viz Pioneer
A story of data visualization and coercion that centers on a person not particularly well known for either one of these things: The founder of modern nursing Florence Nightingale