Form Follows Function

Hidden structures and forms constantly influence the way we think, from social norms to rules of grammar. This week we give you four stories that illuminate the forms that underpin our lives. First, you’ll learn about a successful cosmetic surgery industry in modern day Korea. Second, a software predicts hit songs before they’re hits, based on a formula (note: this piece also aired on our “Prediction” show). Third, Iambic Pentameter makes itself known in the modern world. And finally, An artist incorporates naturally occurring patterns into her audio art.

Download MP3

Host: Bonnie Swift
Producers: Bonnie Swift, Hannah Krakauer and Noah Burbank
Featured: Olivia Puerta, Nellie Olsen, Olivia Prevost, Noah Burbank, Sarah Rizk, Sam Alemayehu, Jill McDonough and Jen Carlile
Music: Palaviccini, Talisman, The Yeltsin Collective

Release Date: 2 June 2008


Story 1: Beauty in the Eyes of the Beheld

Western culture can influence Eastern perceptions of beauty, and in this story, the body-image of women. This piece surveys a growing trend, in which Asian women undergo a surgery called blepharoplasty (more commonly known as “Asian Double Eyelid Surgery”).

Producers: Olivia Puerta, Nellie Olson and Olivia Prevost


Story 2: Are You a Hit?

A new software predicts the next big music sensation, and some local talent is put to through the software to see how they measure up. Does this mean the end of true artistic integrity and creativity? (note: this piece also aired in our episode titled “Prediction”)

Producers: Sarah Rizk and Sam Alemayehu

Story 3: Prison and Poetic Form

Stegner poet Jill McDonough uses the structure of the sonnet to write a book of poetry honoring people who have been executed in the United States. Then she is interviewed by our Fiction Editor.

Producers: Lee Konstantiou
Featuring: Jill McDonough


Story 4: The Sounds of Clouds (and of other Natural Things)

Have you ever wondered what clouds sound like? Jen Carlile uses a programming language to convert visual images of clouds into a musical experience.

Producers: Noah Burbank
Featuring: Jen Carlile


Images: :Dar., hellocatfood, and msnc on Flickr