Podcasts are the new TV shows. Okay not quite but if, like me, you’re often too busy to actually sit down a show they are. They’re also perfect for when you’re working, stuck in traffic, exercising or just living life! There are an endless amounts of of podcasts out there which offer amazing little bits of information or even just random chatter. One of my new favourite podcasts is 99% Invisible.

99% Invisible describes itself as  a tiny radio show about design, architecture & the 99% invisible activity that shapes our world. Basically it will up your cocktail party chatter game by a million percent, it’s also a great way of learning about things that chances are you had no idea existed. It’s also free to listen to on their site so you have no excuse not to check it out. 

What 99% Invisible also does really well is use sound effects and cutaways to narrate the stories, so it’s not just one voice droning on forever! 

I’ve listed a few of my favourite posts for you to have a listen to, don’t worry about listening to them in order, there is none! 

Episode 161: Show of Force

During World War II, a massive recruitment effort targeted students from the top art schools across the country. These young designers, artists, and makers were being asked to help execute a wild idea that came out of one the nation’s most conservative organizations: the United States Army.

The crazy idea was this: The United States Army would design a “deception unit”: a unit that would appear to the enemy as a large armored division with tanks, trucks, artillery, and thousands of soldiers. But this unit would actually be equipped only with fake tanks, fake trucks, fake artillery and manned by just a handful of soldiers.


Episode 159: The Calendar

A month is hardly a unit of measurement. It can start on any day of the week and last anywhere from 28 to 31 days. Sometimes a month is four weeks long, sometimes five, sometimes six. You have to buy a new calendar with new dates every single year. It’s a strange design.

Episode 163: The Gruen Effect 

Retail spaces are designed for impulse shopping. When you go to a store looking for socks and come out with a new shirt, it’s only partly your fault.  Shops are trying to look so beautiful, so welcoming, the items so enticingly displayed and in such vast quantity, that the consumer will start buying compulsively.

This is the Gruen Effect.