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Roman Mars: From Modest Beginnings At KALW To His New Book

Photo provided by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Cover art for Roman Mars' bestselling book features stories and artwork of design and architecture around us.

Roman Mars first produced “99% Invisible” out of his bedroom for KALW 10 years ago. Today it’s one of the top podcasts on iTunes. In this interview, Roman talks about his start in radio and his bestselling book.

"I just tried to knock on every door until someone gave me some kind of job to learn how to do [radio]. The only people who opened the door was KALW."

Roman’s book is “The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design.” He co-wrote it with his show’s editor Kurt Kohlstedt.

Like the show, his book tells the stories behind design and architecture that we don’t tend to notice -whether it be a mailbox or a skyscraper built years ago.

Click the play button above to listen to the interview.

Jeneé Darden is an award-winning journalist, author, public speaker and proud Oakland native. She is the executive producer and host of the weekly arts segment Sights & Sounds as well as the series Sights + Sounds Magazine. Jeneé also covers East Oakland for KALW. Jeneé has reported for NPR, Marketplace, KQED, KPCC, The Los Angeles Times, Ebony magazine, Refinery29 and other outlets. In 2005, she reported on the London transit bombings for Time magazine. Prior to coming to KALW, she hosted the podcast Mental Health and Wellness Radio.