Remix Radio on Friday, May. 4th
99% Invisible is, as producer Roman Mars tells it, a “tiny radio show about design, architecture & the 99% invisible activity that shapes our world”. Don’t let the “tiny” fool you: there’s nothing small about the ideas Mars explores.
Episode 53: The Xanadu Effect
This week’s episode of 99% Invisible is a doozy. Asking a simple question:
What happens when we build big?
And taking us on a ride through the psychological effects that scale brings to the architectural table. Here’s a little more of the essay at the 99% Invisible Blog.
Julia Barton remembers going to the top floor of Dallas’s then-new city hall when she was teenager. The building, designed by I.M. Pei, is a huge trapezoid jutting out over a wide plaza. Julia found the view from the top pretty fantastic, especially when munching on a Caramello bar from the City Hall vending machines.
But once she went to a protest in the plaza below. And those same windows, now hulking over her, made her feel small, and the whole event insignificant. Texans have a fondness for big structures—big arenas, big houses, big freeways. Julia wasn’t sure if their hidden message wasn’t simply this: I’m important, you’re nobody.
You can listen to the episode above, but to get the full effect head over to the 99% Invisible blog and check out the full essay, photos, and a bonus video. Big things really do come in small packages this week.
New episodes of 99% Invisible, air weekly on 91.7 KALW in San Francisco. Fridays at 7:35am and 4:30pm, Saturdays at 8:35am, and Tuesdays at 10:55pm. Also, 24/7 on Public Radio Remix.