In its own words, 99% Invisible is about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about. Focusing on design and the built environment, there’s almost 200 episodes to listen to. Here are some of my favourites to get started:
Re:sound, from the Third Coast International Audio Festival, puts together some of the best audio storytelling from radio history. Its vast audio archive has plenty on the topics of space and place. Here’s a few:
VENTURES AND ADVENTURES IN TOPOGRAPHY
John Rogers and Nick Papadimitriou examine the topography of London in this podcast which ran for two seasons. In the first series each episode looks at one seminal work of London topographical “walking” literature, with the hosts discussing historical podcast and embarking on walks guided by the books. The second is focused on walks undertaken by the pair as part of the practice of deep topography.
THE MOJAVE PHONE BOOTH (NPR)
This episode of NPR’s Snap Judgement starts with the storyteller reading this in a zine in 1997:
“Recently, I spotted a small dot with the word “telephone” beside it on a map of the Mojave desert, 15 miles from the main interstate in the middle of nowhere.”
TRACKING THE LINCOLNSHIRE POACHER (BBC)
A BBC radio documentary exploring the topic of numbers stations–radio stations which broadcast unusual lists of numbers or indecypherable codes which have long been suspected as serving a military or intelligence purpose. The program is an introduction to the topic and those who attempt to map its unkowable geography.
PLANNING FOR DESTRUCTION (BBC)
This radio show tells the story County Durham’s Category D villages, which the local council attempted to wipe from the map following the decline of the mining industry.
T. DAN SMITH – HERO OR VILLAIN?
A public lecture given at Newcastle University in 2013 which seeks to resuscitate the reputation of the controversial figure who changed the fabric of the city forever.