What are your favorite podcasts?
I listen to every new episode of these within a few days of them being released. In no order:
On the Media
This American Life
The Memory Palace*
Answer me This!
Love + Radio*
Too Much Information*
The Guardian’s The Big Ideas*
The Hackney Podcast
How To Do Everything
Bullseye with Jesse Thorn
Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo
The Longest Shortest Time
Slate’s Culture Gabfest
Blank on Blank
The Dinner Party (nee Download)
Judge John Hodgman
Stuff You Should Know
Design Matters with Debbie Millman
BackStory with the American History Guys
*Produced by 99% Invisible alumni
Did you study design or architecture?
No. I studied plant population genetics. It’s a long story.
Can I pitch a story to 99% Invisible?
Yes, but I can’t always respond. I want to respond, but a thoughtful response to a pitch takes me forever to write and I often don’t have time. I feel very bad about this. I barely get the shows done as it is.
Do you have a favorite architect/style/building?
Not really. I can love the “ugliest” building if it has a cool story. Same goes for the ugliest architect.
How can I support the show?
I’m holding off on asking for direct support from the audience. I think it will happen someday, but I want to be smart about it. So for now, the best thing you can do is (1) download and listen to every episode, (2) tell everyone you know to do the same, (3) share on every social network you are on, (4) review 99% Invisible on iTunes. I think I can turn this kind of support into underwriting from sponsors. This is unproven, but it just makes sense.
What kind of equipment do you use? What is your studio set-up?
The entire show is produced with Protools (Micro Mbox) on a Mac. I track myself and record interviews on a Sony PCM-D50 with a (stolen) Audio-technica AT897 short shotgun microphone. I mix and monitor on cheap computer speakers, but I wear Sony MDR-7506 headphones most of the day.
Everything is located in my bedroom. I *ahem* strategically keep clothes strewn around and pile papers and books to make the room soft and free from echo. My desk is next to the closet, so I took the door off and replaced it with a curtain.
You don’t need nice stuff or a studio. You just need to work.
If you are picturing me as Rocky Balboa in Rocky IV, working out in a Siberian cabin by chopping wood, while the evil Ivan Drago uses the state of the art facility and gets pumped full of steroids, that’s exactly how it is.