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The Grid Book

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  38 ratings  ·  3 reviews
Ten grids that changed the world: the emergence and evolution of the most prominent visual structure in Western culture.Emblematic of modernity, the grid is the underlying form of everything from skyscrapers and office cubicles to paintings by Mondrian and a piece of computer code. And yet, as Hannah Higgins makes clear in this engaging and evocative book, the grid has a h ...more
Paperback, 300 pages
Published March 1st 2009 by MIT Press
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Apr 17, 2009 rated it it was ok
So, this book is about ten different types of grid - bricks, tablets, gridiron (cities), maps, notation (musical), ledgers (accounting), screens, typography, boxes, and networks (interwebs) - each type of grid gets a chapter, and the order is roughly chronological according to when that grid was introduced into western culture. The chapters tend to focus on the history of a particular technology's adoption, then talk about what makes that particular instance of the grid-form unique. The intent i ...more
Maureen Thorson
Apr 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book is a constant revelation of facts. As it explores the creation of the grid and its use in both ancient and modern life, it covers everything from bricks to bookkeeping to the revolution in modern commerce created by standardized shipping containers. The author interrogates the grid with cross-references to philosophers, art historians, and social scholars. The upshot is that I feel like I have read a cultural history of human pattern-making and the reuse and adaptation of basic forms. ...more
Brian DiNitto
Jul 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
I like these kinds of books that try to find and make meaning of hidden patterns. I especially liked the chapter on notation and networks. Great small details to fill in the gaps of history and perspective. A few chapters had sloppy editing, but overall a very enjoyable book.
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