The Latest 99% Invisible: Hundertwasser and His Fight Against the Godless Line

Hot Springs Village, Bad Blumau, Styria, Austria. Image © Flickr CC User Enrico Carcasci

In the latest episode of his 99% Invisible podcast, digs into the work of lesser-known architect Tausendsassa Friedensreich Regentag Dunkelbunt Hundertwasser. Often cited for his colorful and curvilinear forms, his name translates to “Multi-Talented Peace-Filled Rainy Day Dark-Colored Hundred Waters.” In everything from his name to his unusual ideas put forth in manifestos, it is immediately evident that Hundertwasser was no ordinary architect. Listen to the podcast and check out some of Hundertwasser’s works after the break.

Should Architects Follow a Code of Ethics?

Pelican Bay State Prison © Jelson25

In the latest episode of his 99% Invisible podcast, bravely takes on a very sensitive topic: the design of prisons which contain execution chambers or house prisoners in solitary confinement. More specifically, the podcast discusses whether architects have a moral duty to decline these commissions and whether, as a profession, architecture should have a code of ethics which prevents registered architects from participating in such designs.

He compares architecture to the medical profession, where the American Medical Association imposes an ethical code on its members which all but forbids them from taking part in execution by lethal injection, based on medicine’s general aim of preservation, rather than destruction of life. The American Institute of Architect’s ethical code is both generic and meager in comparison: “Members should uphold human rights in all their professional endeavors.”

Why Skaters Need the Southbank Centre

© joannapoe via Flickr

Among the extensive discussion of Feilden Clegg Bradley‘s scheme to redesign the Southbank Centre in London, one issue which has sometimes been ignored by the architectural media has been the proposal to relocate the skate park in the under-croft of the Queen Elizabeth Hall to a space beneath the nearby Hungerford bridge.

Unsurprisingly, this decision has sparked a petition, which has collected nearly 40,000 signatures to save one of the UK’s most famous skating hotspots. We’ve talked about how skaters can teach architects about understanding space before; however, in this instance I would like to examine how skaters as a (sub)cultural entity interact with the city, and how the city can cater to their needs. Though many architects are already in favor of accepting skaters, I hope to explore why the wider community tends to see skating as a problem to be solved, and what this can reveal about the proposal at the .

Read on to find out more about the peculiar way skaters experience cities…

Le Corbusier: The Patron Saint of Skateboarders

A Skateboard in LOVE Park in Philadelphia. Image © Mike Blabac

We here at ArchDaily are big fans of ’ radio program , and just had to share the latest show: “In and Out of Love.” In it, Mars explores the changing face of Philadelphia’s JFK Plaza (more commonly known as LOVE Park), why its Modernist characteristics made it perfect for skateboarding (although city officials certainly didn’t feel that way), and why Le Corbusier truly is the patron saint of skateboarders (more about the episode at 99% Invisible).

And, if you like this, check out Why Skateboarding Matters to Architecture, and follow the jump for some very cool, very innovative skate-friendly homes, stores, and parks…

Disruptive Minds: Roman Mars, Host of 99% Invisible



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A few months ago, in a little Bavarian town, far far away, an architect, by the name of Peter Zumthor (you may have heard of him), was asked to design a gate. Zumthor designed a transcendent, transparent structure, and unveiled it to the town. Upon seeing the marvel, the townspeople said it looked like a pair of “Glass Underpants.” And there our story ends.

Your first instinct may be to blame those uncouth Bavarians. But, like Jody Brown did in an excellent blog post, you could also fault Zumthor. Zumthor couldn’t “sell” his gate, because, like many an architect, he speaks “architect,” not “human.”

Roman Mars, on the other hand, is fluent in both. A population geneticist who went to college at age 15, Mars jumped off the science boat to follow his passion: radio. His show on architecture and design, 99% invisible, has become a sleeper hit, earning over $170,000 in a record-breaking Kickstarter campaign.

Its popularity comes down to its story-driven approach, which opens your eyes to the 99% of our reality that goes un-noticed: a building’s unknown history, a detail’s un-obvious purpose, a place’s hidden treasures. Through its stories, 99% invisible lives in the place where the “human” and the “architect” meet.

And, be you architect or nay, it hooks you from the start.

Read our exclusive interview with 99% invisible Producer, Roman Mars, after the break…

“99% Invisible” Blows Kickstarter Goal Out of the Water

, A tiny radio show about design, architecture & the activity that shapes our world.

99% Invisible is, by far, our favorite radio show on architecture and design. Although, granted, there aren’t that many. As Roman Mars, the show’s host and producer, admits: ”since these are disciplines usually appreciated through the eye, you might be thinking: well, that’s the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard. Fair enough. It turns out [though], I don’t need pictures to talk about design, [...] I like making stories that tell us about who we are through the lens of the things we build.”

Despite being an auditory medium (and a low-budget project, sponsored by KALW and AIA San Francisco, but produced in Mars’ garage), the show works because it gets to the heart of any design project: its story.

Well, it turns out we’re not the only ones into Mars’ quirky approach (Aside: if you are too, stay tuned, we’ll be interviewing him for our Disruptive Minds series next week). After launching a modest Kickstarter campaign to help offset costs, a goal promptly smashed in 24 hours, Mars upped the ante. But not to a price tag. Rather, he wanted a show of support. 5,000 backers.

The results for this little-show-that-could were nothing short of extraordinary.

Read More about 99% Invisible’s Kickstarter Campaign, including the very cool design prizes that went with it, after the break…