99% Invisible

by Roman Mars (roman@prx.org) · · · · 301 subscribers

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.

Sam Anderson, author of Boom Town , guides us through the chaotic founding of Oklahoma City, which happened all in one day in 1889, in an event called the Land Run. Plus, we talk about Operation Bongo, the supersonic flight tests that rattled OKC residents in the 1960s. Anderson calls Operation Bongo his favorite research discovery of his entire career. The Worst Way to Start a City

more...


Tags: urban, arts, sanfrancisco, radiotopia, publicradio, design, architecture, prx, radiolab, npr, english, talk, educational, cerebral, stories, fav, in, makeuseof

Older Episodes

Groups of people who historically haven’t had a voice, have expressed themselves on their bodies. Through their style, their hair, their tattoos, their piercings, and what they wear.
You can learn a lot from observing an old pair of blue jeans.
Much of understanding an aloha shirt is about paying attention to what is on the shirt itself. It’s about looking at the pattern to see the story it tells.
Womenswear is littered with fake pockets that don’t open, or shallow pockets that can hardly hold more than a paperclip. If women's clothes have pockets at all, they are often and smaller and just fit less than men’s pockets do.
Lots of different groups have adopted plaid over the course of the 20th century, but if we want to explore how this pattern proliferated, we’ve got to go to Scotland.
Articles of Interest is a show about what we wear: a six-part series looking clothing within 99% Invisible. Episode 1: Kids' Clothes
A radio contest offering a $18,000 modular home to the person who will live on a billboard platform the longest gets out of control
The Sears catalog tells the tale of a world -- itemized. And starting in 1908, the company that offered America everything began offering what just might be its most audacious product line ever: houses.
322- The First Straw Sept. 5, 2018
A straw is a simple thing. It’s a tube, a conveyance mechanism for liquid. The defining characteristic of the straw is the emptiness inside it. This is the stuff of tragedy, and America.
321- Double Standards Aug. 29, 2018
Blepharoplasty is often done to lift loose or sagging skin around the upper eyelids caused by aging. But for a lot of people of Asian descent, this surgery is not strictly about aging and more commonly referred to as “double eyelid” surgery.
320- Bundyville Aug. 21, 2018
The first episode in a fascinating series about the fight over federal land in the western US and the family at the center of it.
319- It's Chinatown Aug. 14, 2018
For Americans, the sight of pagoda roofs and dragon gates means that you are in Chinatown. Whether in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, or Las Vegas, the chinoiserie look is distinctive. But for people from China, the Chinatown aesthetic can feel surprisingly foreign. The same goes for fortune cookies.
318- Fire and Rain Aug. 8, 2018
For Montecito, California, fire is predictable and it is inevitable. Now, coupled with multi-year drought, it is becoming unmanageable.
317- Built to Burn Aug. 1, 2018
After the massive Panorama Fire in southern California in 1980, a young fire researcher named Jack Cohen went in to investigate the houses that were destroyed and he found something surprising
Four times every day, on radios all across the British Isles, a BBC announcer begins reading from a seemingly indecipherable script. "And now the Shipping Forecast..."
315- Everything is Alive July 18, 2018
Everything is Alive is an unscripted interview show with host Ian Chillag in which all the subjects are inanimate objects. In each episode, a different thing tells us its life story -- and everything it says is true.
314- Interrobang July 10, 2018
In 1962, an ad man decided that excited and exclamatory questions needed their own end punctuation: the iterrobang
Roman Mars on ZigZag July 5, 2018
A special presentation of Radiotopia's newest show ZigZag
The world is full of icons that warn us to be afraid — to stay away from this or not do that. And many of these are easy to understand because they represent something recognizable, like a fire, or a person slipping on a wet floor. But some concepts are ...