Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Grid Book

Hannah B. Higgins has mapped the history of the most prominent grid systems in Western culture in her book "The Grid Book", which had an opening a few weeks ago at Printed Matter in NYC. She examines the brick, the tablet, the gridiron city plan, the map, musical notation, the ledger, the screen, moveable type, the manufactured box, and the net as the underlying structures for the world around us perhaps even more than any of us realize. These 10 "grids" have moved and shaped the world around us, and even as the landscape changes these basic structures remain the same. They are used in art as well as urban planning, technology as well as simple games.

She is the an associate professor in the art history department at the University of Illinois at Chicago, which I think would present a really interesting point of view for such a potentially mathematical subject. I've always been fascinated with the idea of structure in a seemingly structureless object, like parallel lines in nature. Thinking about the invisible harmony of the world is truly a spectacular mind exercise.

1 comment:

Sarah Keane said...

this is AWESOME. first of all. i love printed matter. i wish i had money, i would probably spend it all there. second, i love grids. in design, the idea of a horizontal/vertical/symmetric grids are sort of ingrained in our minds and it's hard to break that. it's so nice to see someone thinking differently.