Streams

132- Castle on the Park

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

On the southwest corner of Central Park West and 106th Street in New York City, there's an enormous castle.

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131- Genesis Object

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

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,

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130- Holdout

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Around 2005, a Seattle neighborhood called Ballard started to see unprecedented growth. Condominiums and apartment buildings were sprouting up all over the community which had once been mostly single family homes and small businesses. Around this time,

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129- Thomassons

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

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 pelvic bones,

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128- Hacking IKEA

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

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.

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127- The Sound of Sports

Monday, August 11, 2014

Way back in October 2011 (see episode #38, true believers!), we broadcast a short excerpt of a radio documentary produced by Peregrine Andrews about faking the sounds of sports on TV broadcasts. It was one of our most popular and provocative programs...

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126- Walk This Way

Monday, August 04, 2014

As humans have developed cities and built environments, we have also needed to develop ways to find our way through them. Sam Greenspan went on a wayfinding tour with Jim Harding in the Atlanta airport. Harding is one of the expert "invisibles" that do...

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125- Duplitecture

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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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124- Longbox

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Reporter Whitney Jones argues that R.E.M.’s Out of Time is the most politically significant album in the history of the United States. Because of its packaging.

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123- Snowflake

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Well before the early 1500s, when Sir Thomas Moore first coined the term "Utopia," people have been thinking about how to design their ideal community. Maybe it's one that doesn't use money, or one that drops traditional family structures and raises ch...

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122- Good Egress

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

When designing a commercial structure, there is one safety component that must be designed right into the building from the start: egress. “Egress” refers to an entire exit system from a building: stairs, corridors,

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121- Cold War Kids

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

During the 1961 Berlin Crisis—one of the various moments in the cold war in which we came frighteningly close to engaging in actual war with the Soviets—President John F. Kennedy vowed to identify spaces in "existing structures both public and priv...

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120- Skyjacking

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The term "hijacking" goes back to prohibition days, when gangsters would rob moonshine trucks saying, "Hold your hands high, Jack!" However, in the early days of commercial air travel, the idea that someone would hijack a plane was scarcely even consid...

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119- Feet of Engineering

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

As a fashion object and symbol, the high heel shoe is weighted with meaning. It’s also weighted with the wearer’s entire body weight. The stiletto might be one of the only designs that is physically painful but has somehow has persisted for centuri...

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118- Song Exploder

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

99% Invisible presents Song Exploder. A song is a product of design. It's difficult to create an original melody, but that's only the blueprint. Every element of a piece of music could be produced any number of ways,

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117- Clean Trains

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

In just about every movie set in New York City in the 1970s and 80s there's an establishing shot with a graffiti-covered subway. For city officials, train graffiti was a sign that they had lost control. So, starting in the early 70s,

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116- Breaking the Bank

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

When I go into a bank, especially if I have to stand in line waiting to make a deposit, my mind wanders. And one of the first place it wanders to is: how I would rob the place. How could it be done? Most of the time, buildings are our friends.

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115- Cow Tunnels

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The westernmost part of Manhattan, between 34th and 39th street, is pretty industrial. There’s a bus depot, a ferry terminal, and a steady stream of cars. But in the late 19th early 20th centuries, this was cow country.

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114- Ten Thousand Years

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

In 1990, the federal government invited a group of geologists, linguists, astrophysicists, architects, artists, and writers to the New Mexico desert, to visit the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. They were there on a mission.

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113- Monumental Dilemma

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

About ten miles north of Concord, New Hampshire, off of interstate 93 there’s a little island with a great, big monument on it. The monument depicts a woman, who is holding a hatchet in her right hand and bunch of scalps in her left hand.

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