99% Invisible is an independently produced radio show created by Roman Mars that focuses on design and architecture. It began as a collaborative project between San Francisco public radio station KALW and the American Institute of Architects in San Francisco. Versions of the show are distributed by PRX for broadcast by a number of radio stations, and as a podcast as part of the Radiotopia network.
|Hosted by||Roman Mars|
|Length||Under 30 minutes|
|No. of episodes||382 (as of December 2019) (list of episodes)|
|Original release||September 3, 2010 – present|
The show's name was derived from a quote by Buckminster Fuller: "Ninety-nine percent of who you are is invisible and untouchable." Its goal is to expose the unseen and overlooked aspects of design, architecture, and activity in the world. Each episode generally focuses on a single topic or specific example of design, often including interviews with architects, experts, or people who have influenced or been influenced by a given urban, industrial, graphic or other design.
In 2014, 99% Invisible began its fourth season, the first in which it had a weekly release schedule. 2019 staff include episode producers Avery Trufelman, Katie Mingle, Delaney Hall, Emmett FitzGerald, Vivian Le, Joe Rosenberg, technical producer Sharif Yousseff, musical composer Sean Real, and digital director Kurt Kohlstedt.
Critical reception has generally been very positive, with the show garnering acclaim from many notable radio producers and media outlets. Ira Glass of This American Life described the show as "completely wonderful and entertaining and beautifully produced", and Jad Abumrad has said it "has a kind of rhythm and musicality that you don’t normally find in radio or podcast storytelling." In 2013 Yahoo! News included 99% Invisible on its list of "best podcasts you aren't listening to but should be", and Miranda Sawyer of The Observer highlighted the show, saying "it's just great".
Host Roman Mars was included in Fast Company's Most Creative People list of 2013 for his work on 99% Invisible, and included on the Most Creative People in Business 1000 in 2014.
As of January 2014 the show is listed in the top 50 of iTunes' Top Podcasts rankings. Of the over 4000 listener ratings on iTunes, upwards of 97% gave the show five stars.
The show's 2014 episode Structural Integrity was one of nine award winners at the 2015 Third Coast International Audio Festival.
Guest hosts and collaborations
99% Invisible has produced a variety of episodes in collaboration with other producers and radio shows. Episode 84b called "Trading Places with Planet Money" was made with NPR's Planet Money podcast and discusses commodity trading in the context of the 1983 film Trading Places. "The Political Stage", episode 63, was a collaboration with Andrea Seabrook and DecodeDC that focused on the production of campaign trail events.
List of episodes
Articles of Interest
Field Guide to the City
In October of 2019, publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced the upcoming book The 99% Invisible Field Guide to the City co-authored by podcasters Roman Mars and Kurt Kohlstedt, describing it as "an examination of the design and architecture of our shared urban environs, featuring stories behind overlooked places and things we take for granted." The book is scheduled for publication in fall of 2020.
- "About | 99% Invisible". 99percentinvisible.org. 2014-01-31. Archived from the original on 2014-02-12. Retrieved 2014-02-17.
- "PRX launches Radiotopia, new podcast network of story-driven public radio shows" (PDF). Media.prx.org. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2014-02-21. Retrieved 2014-02-17.
- "Design Envy · 99% Invisible: Roman Mars". Designenvy.aiga.org. 2013-01-08. Archived from the original on 2014-02-21. Retrieved 2014-02-17.
- "Kickstart Season 4- Weekly! | 99% Invisible". 99percentinvisible.org. 2013-10-23. Archived from the original on 2014-02-22. Retrieved 2014-02-17.
- "About | 99% Invisible". 99percentinvisible.org. 2015-12-05. Archived from the original on 2018-03-10. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
- "Roman Mars is 99% Invisible | Architecture". Eyes In. 2013-04-04. Archived from the original on 2014-02-22. Retrieved 2014-02-17.
- "Featured Podcast: 99% Invisible". Junkee. Archived from the original on 2014-02-21. Retrieved 2014-02-17.
- "The best podcasts you aren't listening to but should be - Yahoo News". News.yahoo.com. 2013-07-29. Archived from the original on 2014-02-19. Retrieved 2014-02-17.
- Miranda Sawyer. "Rewind Radio: 99% Invisible | Television & radio | The Observer". Theguardian.com. Archived from the original on 2014-02-03. Retrieved 2014-02-17.
- Feifer, Jason (2013-05-13). "63. Roman Mars | Fast Company | Business + Innovation". Fast Company. Archived from the original on 2014-02-14. Retrieved 2014-02-17.
- "Most Creative People In Business 1000: The Complete List | Fast Company | Business + Innovation". Fast Company. 2014-01-29. Archived from the original on 2014-02-17. Retrieved 2014-02-17.
- "iTunes Store". itunes.apple.com. Archived from the original on 2014-06-05. Retrieved 2014-02-17.
- "iTunes - Podcasts - 99% Invisible by Roman Mars". itunes.apple.com. Archived from the original on 2014-04-17. Retrieved 2014-02-17.
- "Third Coast International Audio Festival :: Structural Integirty". Third Coast International Audio Festival. Archived from the original on 2015-10-27.
- "Articles of Interest". 99% Invisible. Retrieved 2019-12-01.
- Mars, Roman (2019-10-03). "...so the book proposal sold a couple weeks later... @KurtKohlstedt and I have been working hard on it. Manuscript gets turned in this month. Your RT and resulted in ~10 bids and an auction. Thank you! Should be out Fall 2020...pic.twitter.com/Cy2vzp3BBd". @romanmars. Retrieved 2019-12-01.