Burnell Poole, Painting of the USS Leviathan escorted by the USS Allen, 1918. Courtesy US Naval Historical and Heritage Command, NH 42691 Photo courtesy of Woods Hole Historical Museum
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99 Percent Invisible (99PI) is a podcast hosted and conceived by Roman Mars, who also recently founded the podcast conglomerate, Radiotopia. The 99PI title is derived from a quote by architect Buckminster Fuller, “99% of design is invisible.” Each offering is a tiny bundle of awesomeness, examining design that has been obscured by history, or is now so embedded into our current culture that we fail to remember these objects, arrangements, and systems as having had been designed in the first place.

Episode 64, Derelict Dome, about Fuller’s Cape Cod geodesic is, of course, quintessential listening, while Episode 110, Structural Integrity, recently received a 2015 Third Coast International Audio Festival Award. Each episode is accompanied by gorgeous photography.

Here are my favorite five episodes:

Episode 64: Derelict Dome
Episode 65: Razzle Dazzle
Episode 110: Structural Integrity
Episode 129: Thomassons
Episode 140: Vexillonaire

While 99PI centers on design, the Radiotopia family of podcasts also funds equally fantastically nerdy podcasts focused on language (The Allusionist), music (Song Exploder), and history (The Memory Palace). Check them out and give your brain a workout in this new year!

Topics: Design, Culture