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Reinventing the Wheel
Jessica Helfand

ISBN 9781568985961
Publication date 4/1/2006
7.5 x 9.5 inches (19.1 x 24.1 cm), Paperback
160 pages, 100 color illustrations, 20 b/w illustrations
Rights: World; Carton qty: 24; (231.0)

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As inventive as instructive, information wheels-or volvelles-have been used since the fourteenth century to measure, record, predict, and calculate everything form time and space to military history and recipes. In this fascinating book, designer and critic Jessica Helfand offers and in-depth look at these unique artifacts, which are not only clever and amusing-where else could you dial-in ingredients to concoct "Creamed Oysters and Celery"? but, Helfand argues, relevant as a model for modern interactive design. From circular mathematical slide rules to Captain Marvel phonetic decoders; from nuclear bomb blast calculators to gestational breeding planners; and from astronomical planispheres to presidential trivia plotters, Reinventing the Wheel demonstrates the astonishing range and remarkable utility of these ingenious "interactive" tools.

Jessica Helfand is partner with William Drenttel in Jessica Helfand/William Drenttel, a design consultancy. She has been collecting wheels for several years.


Editorial Reviews

Step Inside Design:
"Reinventing the Wheel entertains the notion that the concept of interaction predates print and new media culture by thousands of years. With a detailed history of volvelles and many 20th-century examples, and a consideration for their future role in design, Helfand plays off the idea that paper wheel design could make a comeback in a 'new kind of interactive future.'"

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