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Preview: 99% Invisible

99% Invisible

A Tiny Radio Show About Design with Roman Mars

Last Build Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2017 20:00:48 +0000


Rooftop Roads: Ancient Iranian Town Where Roofs Serve as Public Spaces [ARTICLE]

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 20:00:48 +0000


Nestled into the steep slope of a mountain, this remarkable thousand-year-old village in northern Iran has evolved an unusual approach to open space: its rooftops double as public lanes and gathering places. At an elevation of nearly 3,500 feet, Masuleh sits high in the Alborz mountain range on a 60-degree incline. It was originally developed

SCI-Arc Studio Constructs Private Facades to Craft the Public Imagination [ARTICLE]

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 20:42:04 +0000


This fall, SCI-Arc Graduate Program Chair Elena Manferdini is working with her students on the topic of facades. The concern of her design studio titled “Obvious” is to understand the political implications of an aesthetic language in shaping the visual experience of the city. Specifically, her students’ work argues that facades, even when buildings are

Guerrilla Public Service Redux [EPISODE]

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 17:18:35 +0000


At some point in your life you’ve probably encountered a problem in the built world where the fix was obvious to you. Maybe a door that opened the wrong way, or poorly painted marker on the road. Mostly, when we see these things, we grumble on the inside, and then do nothing. But not Richard

The Flat-Pack, Can-Do Opener: 38+ Uses for the “Best Army Invention Ever” [ARTICLE]

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 20:00:29 +0000


The P-38‘s creator probably never imagined that the little can opener he devised during World War II would go on to become one of the 20th century’s most useful and portable multi-tools. In the days before MREs, the P-38 was designed to open K-ration cans. Major Thomas Dennehy of the Subsistence Research Laboratory in Chicago

Leafy Neckdowns: Cornstarch, Water & Leaves Reshape Unsafe Intersection [ARTICLE]

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 20:00:51 +0000


In winter months, urban activists and designers have been known to observe where people drive and walk through snow, then use that information to redraw streets and sidewalks. But this year, one Toronto resident didn’t wait for “snowy neckdowns” (or: sneckdowns) to see if he and his neighbors could test safety measures at a local

The Nut Behind the Wheel [EPISODE]

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 18:00:45 +0000


In the past fifty years, the car crash death rate has dropped by nearly 80 percent in the United States. And one of the reasons for that drop has to do with the “accident report forms” that police officers fill out when they respond to a wreck. Officers use these forms to document the weather

Crash Course: Are We Headed for an Autonomous Utopia or Driverless Dystopia? [ARTICLE]

Mon, 04 Dec 2017 20:00:28 +0000


“Autonomy will change cities as much as cars did,” says Silicon Valley venture capitalist Benedict Evans. “Thinking this is just about ‘self-driving cars’ is like talking about ‘horseless carriages‘.” No one is quite sure what shape this shift will take, but if the past car-driven century of sprawl has taught urbanists anything it’s that change

The Stretcher Railing Society: Preserving WWII Artifacts Hidden in Plain Sight [ARTICLE]

Fri, 01 Dec 2017 18:00:23 +0000


All over London, upcycled stretchers from World War II can be found on public display — not as monuments or memorials, but as everyday elements of urban infrastructure. Many housing estate fences, initially stripped for critical materials to aid the war effort, were reconstructed with stretchers suspended between vertical supports. Over 600,000 steel stretchers were

A 700-Foot Mountain of Whipped Cream [EPISODE]

Tue, 28 Nov 2017 18:00:55 +0000


In this featured episode, radio advertising producer, writer and composer Clive Desmond covers the golden age of radio ads, including Frank Zappa, Ken Nordine, Linda Ronstadt, and Randy Newman. While the 1960s shift in print and TV advertising has been heavily documented and mythologized by Mad Men, Madison Avenue’s radiophonic collision with the counterculture is

Parisian Treescraper: Vertical Mixed-Use Planter Will Also Have Room for People [ARTICLE]

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 20:00:23 +0000


Designed by Italian firm Stefano Boeri Architetti, the ‘White Forest’ boasts a facade covered in 2,000 plants. At a glance, the fact that it also houses a mixed-use program for humans seems secondary. But looking at the very first rendering (above), something seems off: the tower is only slated to be 170 feet tall, yet