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Reinventing the Wheel

Jessica Helfand

     7.5 × 9.5 in (19.1 × 24.1 cm)
Paperback
160 pages
100 color illustrations, 20 b/w illustrations
Publication date: 4/1/2006
Rights: World
ISBN: 9781568985961


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.


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