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134: The Straight Line Is A Godless Line

Straight lines form the core of our built environment. Building in straight lines makes predicting costs and calculating structural loads easier, since building materials come in linear units. Straight lines might be logical, predictable, and efficient, but they are also completely "godless"—at ...

Episode 12

133: Port of Dallas

There’s a photograph we have tacked to our studio at 99% Invisible HQ. The photo, taken 1899, shows three men, all looking very fashionable, suspended mid-air on the lifted arm of a giant dredging machine.  [Scene from the reversal ...

Episode 8

132: Castle On The Park

On the southwest corner of Central Park West and 106th Street in New York City, there's an enormous castle. It takes up the whole east end of the block, with its red brick cylindrical turrets topped with gleaming silver ...

Episode 14

131: Genesis Object

In the beginning, there was design. Before any other human discipline, even before the dawn of mankind its self, design was a practice passed down from generation to generation of early humans. Today, everything that has been designed–space ships, buildings, pyramids, weapons, ...

Episode 49

130: Holdout

In 1914, the government of New York City took ownership of a Manhattan apartment building belonging to one David Hess. The city used a legal power called eminent domain, allowing governments to seize private property for public use—in this ...

Episode 27

129: Thomassons

Cities, like living things, evolve slowly over time. Buildings and structures get added and renovated and removed, and in this process, bits and pieces that get left behind. Vestiges.  Just as humans have tailbones and whales have ...

Episode 28

128: Hacking IKEA

IKEA hacking is the practice of buying things from IKEA and reengineering—or "hacking"—them to become customized, more functional, and often just better designed stuff. The locus of the IKEA hacking movement is a website called IKEAhackers.net. It’s a showcase ...

Episode 20

125: Duplitecture

The best knock-offs in the world are in China. There are plenty of fake designer handbags and Rolexes but China's knock-offs go way beyond fashion. There are knock-off Apple stores that look so much like the real thing, ...

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