| Roman Mars|
| Arts, Design, Architecture|
Typically under 30 minutes
Roman Mars, Sam Greenspan
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.
99% Invisible Wikipedia
The show's name is taken 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 been influenced by the design.
As of 2014, 99% Invisible is entering its fourth season, which will be the first time it will have a weekly release schedule. 2015 staff include episode producers Sam Greenspan, Avery Trufelman, and Katie Mingle, as well as Kurt Kohlstedt as digital director.
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.
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.