by Roman Mars and Kurt Kohlstedt [signed copies available]
Reviewed by Rachel Fowler
Cities at first glance can be fun and interesting places in and of themselves, but what about the stories just under the surface? What about things that are essentially hidden but still remain an integral part of the functioning of a city? Unearthing these unsung tales are what The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design aims to do. The authors, Roman Mars and Kurt Kohlstedt, open the lid on many secrets and little known interesting facts about the design of the everyday world we inhabit.
Roman Mars is the creator and host of the podcast 99% Invisible that the book is based on. The popular podcast focuses on design and architecture and gives insight to unique stories behind the places and things we think we know. The book is unique from the podcast in that it has drawings to help illustrate the things you see everyday, but might not have a full understanding of. As the author explains:
“So much of the conversation about design centers on beauty, but the more fascinating stories of the built world are about problem-solving, historical constraints, and human drama.” - Roman Mars