The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design
This is another book I picked up at my local indie on publication day—I just couldn't wait! It shot to the top of my wishlist when Grettel mentioned it on WSIRN Episode 251: I love books and books love me back. My fascination with urban planning is well documented. I love learning the stories behind sidewalk placement, street signs, or park-building. This well-researched guide to city design includes illustrations, stories, and explanations of the things we usually overlook. Podcast host Mars brings his celebration of big ideas and seemingly small things to the page.
A beautifully designed guidebook to the unnoticed yet essential elements of our cities, from the creators of the wildly popular 99% Invisible podcast
Have you ever wondered what those bright, squiggly graffiti marks on the sidewalk mean?
Or stopped to consider why you don’t see metal fire escapes on new buildings?
Or pondered the story behind those dancing inflatable figures in car dealerships?
99% Invisible is a big-ideas podcast about small-seeming things, revealing stories baked into the buildings we inhabit, the streets we drive, and the sidewalks we traverse. The show celebrates design and architecture in all of its functional glory and accidental absurdity, with intriguing tales of both designers and the people impacted by their designs.
Now, in The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to Hidden World of Everyday Design, host Roman Mars and coauthor Kurt Kohlstedt zoom in on the various elements that make our cities work, exploring the origins and other fascinating stories behind everything from power grids and fire escapes to drinking fountains and street signs. With deeply researched entries and beautiful line drawings throughout, The 99% Invisible City will captivate devoted fans of the show and anyone curious about design, urban environments, and the unsung marvels of the world around them.