500 Years of History, Art and Science in 100 Unique Designs
curated, created and published by Alison Hackett, 2013
This is a labour of love, insanity, beauty and, perhaps, an attempt to reintegrate history, art and science together again.
Over the last year there has been increased talk about evolving ‘STEM’ [Science Technology Engineering Maths] into STEAM, the same with the addition of Art as well. Back in the ‘good old days’, give or take early death, plague and feudalism, it was possible to be a ‘Renaissance Man’ (and yes, much harder to be a Renaissance Woman) , because there was much less to know in each of these areas.
Since then humanity has, when not spending a disproportionate amount of time killing each other, learnt an awful lot, about many, many things. However with this has come a cost, as there is more and more information within any one area, google ad words and analytics for example, so it becomes harder to have enough time to know about other disciplines too, contemporary art trends in Reykjavik perhaps.
This book, as both a magnificent folly and a beautiful work of art attempts to pull together some of these now, disparate, threads of human endeavour and show us, literally, how many interesting links there are between seemingly diverse topics.
This is all the more evident while reading the book as you realise how many interesting things were often invented, discovered, and revealed within such close periods of time, often by people unaware of the others activities. A clear reminder of the value of the open source approach to knowledge and information. We, as humans, are learning discovering, and creating so much, so quickly, it is often years or even decades before someone else when finds a useful application for what we created.
For this reason, and also because it is a beautiful thing to (be)hold this could be the surprise Christmas present hit for this year.
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