99% Invisible

by Roman Mars

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.

  

Latest Episodes

276- The Finnish Experiment

Around the world, there is a lot of buzz around the idea of universal basic income (also known as “unconditional basic income” or UBI). It can take different forms or vary in the details, but in essence: UBI is the … Continue reading


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Posted on 19 September 2017 | 9:14 pm


275- Coal Hogs Work Safe

Coal miner stickers started out as little advertisements that the manufacturers of mining equipment handed out. Even before the late 1960s, when mining safety laws started requiring reflective materials underground, miners used those stickers to stay visible to each other … Continue reading


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Posted on 12 September 2017 | 10:14 pm


274- The Age of the Algorithm

Computer algorithms now shape our world in profound and mostly invisible ways. They predict if we’ll be valuable customers and whether we’re likely to repay a loan. They filter what we see on social media, sort through resumes, and evaluate … Continue reading


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Posted on 5 September 2017 | 11:45 pm


273- Notes on an Imagined Plaque

Monuments don’t just appear in the wake of someone’s death — they are erected for reasons specific to a time and place. In 1905, one such memorial was put up in downtown Memphis, Tennessee, to commemorate Nathan Bedford Forrest, who … Continue reading


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Posted on 29 August 2017 | 9:47 pm


272- Person in Lotus Position

Tech analysts estimate that over six billion emojis are sent each day. Emojis, which started off as a collection of low-resolution pixelated images from Japan, have become a well-established and graphically sophisticated part of everyday global communication. But who decides … Continue reading


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Posted on 22 August 2017 | 9:13 pm


271- The Great Dismal Swamp

On the border of Virginia and North Carolina stretches a great, dismal swamp. The Great Dismal Swamp, actually — that’s the name British colonists gave it centuries ago. The swamp covers about 190 square miles today, but at its peak, … Continue reading


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Posted on 15 August 2017 | 10:42 pm


270- The Stethoscope

Imagine for a moment the year 1800. A doctor is meeting with a patient – most likely in the patient’s home. The patient is complaining about shortness of breath. A cough, a fever. The doctor might check the patient’s pulse … Continue reading


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Posted on 9 August 2017 | 1:09 am


269- Ways of Hearing

When the tape started rolling in old analog recording studios, there was a feeling that musicians were about to capture a particular moment. On tape, there was no “undo.” They could try again, if they had the time and money, … Continue reading


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Posted on 1 August 2017 | 11:39 pm


268- El Gordo

In Spain, they do the lottery differently. First of all, it’s a country-wide obsession — about 75% of Spaniards buy a ticket. There’s more than one lottery in Spain, but the one that Spaniards are the most passionate about is … Continue reading


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Posted on 25 July 2017 | 6:04 pm