99% Invisible Podcast – Episode 43 – The Accidental Music of Imperfect Escalators

For all of you interested in design and architecture, this podcast is for you. Have a listen to the latest episode and we bet you’ll be hooked within 20 seconds.

99% Invisible is “a tiny radio show about design, architecture & the 99% invisible activity that shapes our world”.  We love the show, its superbly produced and look forward to every episode, please keep these coming Roman.

From 99% Invisible:

“There’s a secret jazz seeping from Washington’s aging Metro escalators – those anemic metal walkways that fill our transit system…they honk and bleat and squawk…why are you still wearing those earbuds?”

-Chris Richards, “Move along with the soundtrack of Metro’s screechy, wailing escalators” The Washington Post, 01/14/11

Ever since the industrial revolution, when it became possible for products to be designed just once and then mass produced, it has been the slight imperfections and wear introduced by human use that has transformed a quality mass produced product into a thing we love. Your worn blue jeans, your grandmothers iron skillet, the initial design determined their quality, but it’s their imperfections that make them comfortable, that make them lovable, that make them yours.

And if you think that a “slightly broken” escalator can’t be lovable, then our own Sam Greenspan would like to introduce you to Chris Richards. Chris Richards is a music critic for the Washington Post, and after years of ignoring the wailing and screeching of the much maligned, often broken escalators in the DC Metro, he began to hear them in a new way. He began to hear them as music.

Published: 19th December 2011
Produced by: 99% Invisible
Length: 0:07:20