Nice Try!

Nice Try!

Nice Try's second season, Interior, is all about the lifestyle products that have been sold to us over and over, and the promises of domestic self improvement they have made, kept and broken. From Curbed and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

Episodes

May 4, 2019 2 min
Explore the hidden stories behind how we design the world we live in, and what we can learn when those designs fail. Season one, Utopian, follows Avery Trufelman on her quest to understand the perpetual search for the perfect place, the ways that search can go spectacularly wrong, and what comes after. Thursdays starting May 30th. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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Most people today know the story of Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in America, from the story of Pocahontas and John Smith, and especially from the 1995 Disney animated film. A gripping recounting of the true story of how the settlement failed and recovered, and the toll it took on the English and Native Americans, shows how failure can be a transformative experience, and also how the stories we tell ourselves ab...
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June 6, 2019 38 min
Following the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru commissioned famed architect Le Corbusier to design the city of Chandigarh, to signal India’s rise on the world stage. But the city’s architecture and design has become known more for its Western modernist roots, and less as a symbol of Indian nationalism, and furniture that had been intended for the masses are now being auctioned off as h...
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Suburban developments built in the 1950s were idyllic communities and gave many people their first opportunity at home ownership, but typically excluded African Americans. While William Levitt used explicit racial covenants and other tactics to keep his famed Levittown developments white, one builder used racial quotas to create an integrated community — and succeeded, for a while. Can the suburbs be a utopia for all? Learn more ab...
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June 20, 2019 37 min
The Oneida Community was founded in upstate New York in 1848 by John Humphrey Noyes, a former theological student who believed that paradise could be found on Earth through nontraditional sexual and familial structures, including complex marriages and communal childraising. Hundreds of people followed him, and for many years their community succeeded. But the center could not hold, and the community pivoted — into a thriving busine...
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In 1938, Hitler’s chief architect Albert Speer started redesigning Berlin for a New Order, elements of which exist today. The Tempelhof Airport in West Berlin features designs that specifically evoke the Third Reich. Following the end of World War II, the airport became a crucial access point for the US and British to bring food through the Berlin Blockade. It was closed in 2008, and then became a park, and emergency refugee housin...
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July 11, 2019 51 min
In 1991, eight people embarked on a two-year experiment to create a completely enclosed, self-sustaining ecosystem in a domed research facility in Arizona. Inside the dome, there was a man-made savannah. A rainforest. A farm. An ocean with tropical coral reef. And all of these habitats would be populated with life. Things did not go according to plan. But was it a failure? EDITOR'S NOTE: one instance of explicit language. Learn...
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July 18, 2019 36 min
What have all of the utopias we've covered so far had in common? They were all largely driven by the will and power of a charismatic leader - usually a man, usually white. How do you build a utopia, then, for people in society who really need it? In our season finale, we visit worlds where there are no men. In fiction, and real life. Read more about all Utopian episodes - from Jamestown to Biosphere 2 - and the books that inspi...
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August 15, 2019 46 min
Before she began writing for the New York Times, or visiting glitter factories and the Royal Wedding, Caity Weaver grew up vacationing in utopia. Specifically: Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. During a recent live event at the 92Y in New York City, Avery asked Caity to bring us back to those vacations. As a reminder that discussion about utopias - and the failures and successes inherent in them - is an ongoing one. Learn more...
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October 7, 2021 2 min
Nice Try's second season, Interior, interrogates the lifestyle technologies and products that determine the ways we clean, cook, exercise, and sleep -- as we attempt to sail to the unreachable shore of a better life. Hosted by Avery Trufelman. From Curbed and the Vox Media Podcast Network. Thursdays starting October 14th. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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October 14, 2021 43 min
The American dream of a suburban house with a white picket fence cordons off the home as a haven, separate from the outside world. This personal, private utopia becomes defined by who gets let in. And that is determined by a device that isn’t often thought of as technology. But it's the first thing that you touch when you enter someone else’s home. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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October 21, 2021 30 min
One of the most intimate, necessary, and perhaps loathed activities of the home is cleaning. Who does this work, and how good do we have to be at it? When is it okay to depend on some kind of help? A story of community, labor, and dirt—as told through the lens of the vacuum cleaner. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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October 28, 2021 39 min
Countertop kitchen appliances—cookers that range from slow to fast—promise healthier, easier, better ways to feed the body. These gadgets of convenience have raised the standards for how much variety and excitement one can reasonably expect from a meal. But what do we do with the time we've saved? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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November 4, 2021 45 min
Fitness trends come and go. But the weight, about as low-tech and simple as it gets, is an anchor in the shifting tides of culture. As workout equipment has become canonized into the realm of home appliances, this heavy metal object aids in our dual—and sometimes conflicting—pursuit of athletics and aesthetics. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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November 11, 2021 38 min
Since industrialization, we have developed a convoluted set of cultural rules and etiquette around sleep—which often run counter to our actual, biological needs for sleep. Enter the mattress: a lightning rod for sleep performance, and a tool for modern self-improvement that's as mysterious and necessary as sleep itself. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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November 18, 2021 35 min
The bathroom is our most private room in our private homes, devoted to our most private business. And the American bathroom has long contained a stable trinity of fixtures: the toilet, bath, and sink. But is there room for another? This week, the riddle of the Western bathroom and our modern attitudes toward cleanliness—all wrapped up in the mystery of why Americans cannot seem to fully embrace the bidet. Learn more about your ad c...
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December 2, 2021 39 min
On this season of Nice Try, we’ve asked why we bring certain goods into our homes. What kinds of utopia they promise, and what they deliver with the latest technology. But even the most faddish of gadgets might just improve a person's life, because we can fall in love with things. Join us for the last episode of Season Two: a love story.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
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