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99% Invisible podcast

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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] (http://99percentinvisible.org) . A proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Learn more at [radiotopia.fm] (http://radiotopia.fm/) .

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] (http://99percentinvisible.org) . A proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Learn more at [radiotopia.fm] (http://radiotopia.fm/) .

 

#453

413- Highways 101

Icons and symbols and signage are all around us, and nowhere more so than on the open road. So for this episode of Ubiquitous Icons: hop in the car with Roman and Kurt for a crash course in roadside signage. We'll learn about the history of the stop sign, the iconic rural mailbox, and the signs that tell you what you'll find at highway exits. This is [Highways 101] (https://99percentinvisible.org/?p=33668&post_type=episode) Pre-order [The 99% Invisible City] (https://99percentinvisible.org/book/) ... Read more

15 Sep 2020

35 MINS

35:07

15 Sep 2020


#452

412- Where Do We Go From Here?

There have been many waves of panic and resistance to new people moving into the public sphere and needing accommodation. And a focus of that panic has often been… public bathrooms. The debate about trans bathroom access became a big national story a little over five years ago after the passage of ordinances in cities like Charlotte, North Carolina, and Houston, TX, which attempted to restrict which bathrooms trans people could or couldn’t use. Many transgender, non-binary, and intersex people risk stress and sometimes physical danger when entering bathrooms that are segregated by sex. But a group of people have devised a design solution that may make bathrooms better for everyone. [Where Do We Go From Here?] (https://99percentinvisible.org/?p=33580&post_type=episode) Pre-order the [The 99% Invisible City] (https://99percentinvisible.org/book/) ... Read more

09 Sep 2020

36 MINS

36:29

09 Sep 2020


#451

411- Podcast Episode

After the 1970s oil crisis, the global economy went into a recession. American unemployment hit 11 percent. And suddenly, middle-class families didn’t have money for name brands like Coke or Kellogg’s. Consumers wanted cheaper food. In response, supermarkets had to figure out how to make their store brands more appealing. One chain in France, called Carrefour, was developing a discount store brand when they had an idea. Instead of using bright colors, or putting their own name on the box, or using slogans or beautiful photos, their products were brandless. They would include just the name of the food, in black text, on a white background. This minimalist design was a brilliant marketing tool. It delivered the message that the food was cheap, and the savings were being passed down to consumers. Then generic branding spread around the world. [Podcast Episode] (https://99percentinvisible.org/?post_type=episode&p=33479) Buy [The 99% Invisible City] (https://99percentinvisible.org/book/) ... Read more

01 Sep 2020

35 MINS

35:23

01 Sep 2020


#450

244- The Revolutionary Post

Winifred Gallagher, author of How the Post Office Created America argues that the post office is not simply an inexpensive way to send a letter. The service was designed to unite a bunch of disparate towns and people under one flag, and in doing so, she believes the post office actually created the United States of America. This is a rebroadcast from October 2017 [The Revolutionary Post] (https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/the-revolutionary-post/) Buy [The 99% Invisible City] (https://99percentinvisible.org/book) , our first book! ... Read more

25 Aug 2020

19 MINS

19:17

25 Aug 2020


#449

410- Policing the Open Road

Before the twentieth century, most Americans rarely came into contact with police officers. But with more and more drivers behind the wheel, police departments rapidly expanded their forces and increased officers’ authority to stop citizens who violated traffic laws. The Fourth Amendment—the constitutional protection against unreasonable searches and seizures—did not effectively shield individuals from government intrusion while driving. Instead, jurists interpreted the amendment narrowly. In a society dependent on cars, everyone (the law-breaking and law-abiding alike) would be subject to discretionary policing. Sarah Seo's remarkable book Policing the Open Road shows how procedures designed to safeguard us on the road actually undermined the nation’s commitment to equal protection before the law. [Policing the Open Road] (https://99percentinvisible.org/?p=32846&post_type=episode) ... Read more

11 Aug 2020

37 MINS

37:55

11 Aug 2020


#448

409- California Love Scared Straight

Walter Thompson-Hernandez was just eleven years old when he was admitted to L.A.'s infamous Scared Straight program for graffiti related crimes. In this episode, Walter, through a chance encounter, checks-in with his friend who went through the program with him, their anti-tagging arch-nemesis, and how they have turned out after all these years. Part autobiography, part reportage, California Love is a richly sound-designed audio tour that takes us into the homes of communities that are touchstones to Walter’s life. Subscribe on [iTunes] (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/california-love/id1522337888) or through their [website] (https://laist.com/podcasts/california-love.php) ... Read more

04 Aug 2020

40 MINS

40:32

04 Aug 2020


#447

408- Valley of the Fallen

About an hour northwest of Madrid, an enormous stone crucifix rises 500 feet out of a rocky mountaintop. It’s so big you can see it from miles away. Beneath the cross, there’s a sprawling Benedictine monastery and a basilica carved out of the mountain. This place is called The Valley of the Fallen. And it’s likely the most controversial monument in Spain. The Valley is synonymous with Francisco Franco, the general who ruled Spain from the end of its bloody civil war in 1939 until his death in 1975. When Franco died, he became the Valley’s most notorious inhabitant, until he was removed in 2019. Currently there are tens of thousands of other bodies still trapped in the basilica beneath where Franco used to lie. Many were victims of Franco’s security forces, murdered during the height of the civil war, and for years, their families have been trying to get them out. [Valley of the Fallen] (https://99percentinvisible.org/?p=32765&post_type=episode) Buy [The 99% Invisible City] (https://99percentinvisible.org/book/) , our first book! ... Read more

29 Jul 2020

35 MINS

35:00

29 Jul 2020


#446

407- The Dolphin that Roared

When Emily Oberman found a flag of the island nation of Anguilla her father had helped design in her attic, she had no idea it was connected to one of the strangest political revolutions in history. [The Dolphin that Roared] (https://99percentinvisible.org/?p=32734&post_type=episode) Plus, we are so excited to announce the first 99pi book! [The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design] (http://99pi.org/book) by Roman Mars and Kurt Kohlstedt comes out October 6 and you should pre-order it right now! ... Read more

21 Jul 2020

40 MINS

40:36

21 Jul 2020


#445

406- A Side of Franchise

There are many books about McDonald’s that criticize the company for its many sins, and author Marcia Chatelain has read all of them. But her book comes at this famous fast-food restaurant from a different angle and with a much wider lens. In  [Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America] (https://amzn.to/3fn1AHK) , Chatelain offers a critique of racial capitalism and a long history of trying to address social problems with business-based solutions. [A Side of Franchise] (https://99percentinvisible.org/?p=32696&post_type=episode) Plus, we are featuring an excerpt from the series [Race Traitor] (https://www.theheartradio.org/race-traitor-1) from [The Heart] (https://www.theheartradio.org/) . Subscribe! ... Read more

14 Jul 2020

38 MINS

38:07

14 Jul 2020


#444

405- Freedom House Ambulance Service

One night halfway through a graveyard shift at the hospital, orderly John Moon watched as two young men burst through the doors. They were working desperately to save a dying patient. Maybe today he wouldn’t bat an eye at this scene, but in 1970 nothing about it made sense. The two men weren’t doctors, and they weren’t nurses. And their strange uniforms weren’t hospital issued. Moon was witnessing the birth of a new profession—one that would go on to change the face of emergency medicine.  The two men were some of the worlds first paramedics, and, like Moon, they were Black. This is the story of Freedom House Ambulance Service of Pittsburgh. They were the first paramedics and they changed the way we think about emergency medicine. [Freedom House Ambulance Service] (https://99percentinvisible.org/?post_type=episode&p=32523) ... Read more

08 Jul 2020

44 MINS

44:11

08 Jul 2020


#443

404- Return of Oñate's Foot

All across the country, protestors have been tearing down old monuments. These monuments have been falling in the middle of historic protests against police brutality. Sparked by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, these demonstrations have spread to communities, big and small, across the country and around the world. And as they've grown, the protests have become about much more than police violence. This national uprising has inspired a massive reckoning with our country's past. Suddenly, decades of inertia and foot-dragging have given way to decisive action. In 2018, we did a story about a couple of controversial monuments in New Mexico. They honored a Spanish conquistador named Juan de Oñate, who was an early settler in the region. We're revisiting that story with extensive updates about the current protests and a shooting that occurred at an Oñate demonstration in June. [Return of Oñate's Foot] (https://99percentinvisible.org/?p=32447&post_type=episode) ... Read more

30 Jun 2020

53 MINS

53:50

30 Jun 2020


#442

403- Return of the Yokai

In the US, mascots are used to pump up crowds at sporting events, or for traumatizing generations of children at Chuck E. Cheese, but in Japan it’s different. There are mascots for towns, aquariums, dentists' offices, even prisons. There are mascots in cities that tell people not to litter, or remind them to be quiet on the train. Everything has a mascot and anything can be a mascot. The reason why mascots and character culture flourish in Japan is connected with the nation’s fascinating history with mythical monsters known as Yokai. [Return of the Yokai] (https://99percentinvisible.org/?p=32374&post_type=episode) ... Read more

24 Jun 2020

34 MINS

34:04

24 Jun 2020


#441

402- Instant Gramification

If you’re on Instagram, there’s a decent chance you’ve seen a picture of one particular building called the Yardhouse. It was designed by the London-based architecture collective Assemble. The design of the building had a lot to say about creating spaces that were functional, collaborative, and inexpensive. But people on Instagram mainly saw a pretty wall to serve as the backdrop to their photos. Instagram and architecture have formed a symbiosis and the consequences of them interacting and feeding back on each other are still playing out. [Instant Grammification] (https://99percentinvisible.org/?p=31613&post_type=episode) ... Read more

16 Jun 2020

33 MINS

33:47

16 Jun 2020