We are Roman Mars and Kurt Kohlstedt here to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 99% Invisible podcast. It’s a show about design and the built world we live in. Our new book drops today -- The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden Worl...
Update: Thank you all for showing up and asking great questions! For more on The 99% Invisible City, including reviews, previews, and signed copies, check out 99pi.org/book. We also did an episode with short versions of 10 stories from the book and an article about the book design process! And if you're new to 99pi or looking to share it with friends: I recently rounded up 10 staff favorites episodes from the 2010s to start with. Thanks for having us!
99% Invisible is a big-ideas podcast and website about small-seeming things, revealing stories baked into the buildings we inhabit, the streets we drive on, and sidewalks we traverse. The show and book celebrate design in all of its functional glory and accidental absurdity, with tales of exceptional designers but also everyday designs.
Show host and creator Roman Mars launched what was then a “tiny radio show about design” a decade ago, then broke crowdfunding records for journalism. He co-founded an independent podcasting network and did a beautifully nerdy TED talk on flags with over 6MM views to date.
Producer and book co-author Kurt Kohlstedt joined the show five years ago, but has been writing about design and cities since getting a graduate degree in architecture in 2007. In addition to working on episodes of the show, he also regularly writes articles for the website.
Our new book, The 99% Invisible City, reflects years of research and reporting about how cities work, exploring the origins and other fascinating stories behind everything from power grids and fire escapes to drinking fountains and street signs. It’s for anyone curious about design processes, urban environments, and the unsung marvels of the world around them.
To read more about the book, our upcoming live events or read reviews, check out our book page! Also: visit our subreddit at /r/99percentinvisible (special thanks to the fans who created and maintain that wonderful space!) and feel free to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram -- and if this show sounds like your cup of tea, be sure to subscribe to the podcast! Bonus: In our just-released episode, Roman and Kurt walk around beautiful downtown Oakland, California, telling stories from the book and offer a behind-the-scenes look at how we made it!
Note: Roman and I will show up at 2:30 to answer your questions, but meanwhile: ask away!
Update: Need to take a break and start getting ready for the live show this evening with Alexis Madrigal (details at 99pi.org/book) - will try to check in later tonight and answer more questions!
Update: Dropped back in after the show to answer a bunch of new questions - what a blast! Thanks all! The link above lists our live (virtual) tour dates this week, so if you're interested, sign up for one!