Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things.Pause and look around: you will see that you are surrounded by glass. It reflects and refracts light through your windows; it encircles a glowing filament above you; it's in a mirror hanging on the wall; it lies shattered in a dented corner of an iPhone-you're drinking water out of a pint glass. Taking up a most common object, rarely considered because assumed to be transparent, John Garrison draws evocative connections between historical depictions of glass and emerging visions that see it as holding a unique promise for new forms of interaction. Grounded in everyday examples, this book offers a series of surprising insights into how we increasingly find ourselves living in a world made of glass. Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic.
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"This brilliant book takes us through the looking glass, allowing us to see an everyday material in a whole new light. Glass, no matter how transparent it may seem, is always coated with many layers of meaning. In this scintillating account, John Garrison shows how the cultural framing of glass has repeatedly opened windows to other worlds, from the microscopic depths to the far reaches of the cosmos, from the imagined futures of science fiction to the bizarro-worlds of our own bathroom mirrors." --Colin Milburn, Professor of English and Science and Technology Studies, University of California Davis, USA
"The Object Lessons series achieves something very close to magic: the books take ordinary--even banal--objects and animate them with a rich history of invention, political struggle, science, and popular mythology. Filled with fascinating details and conveyed in sharp, accessible prose, the books make the everyday world come to life. Be warned: once you've read a few of these, you'll start walking around your house, picking up random objects, and musing aloud: 'I wonder what the story is behind this thing?'"--Steven Johnson, best-selling author of How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World
"The Object Lessons project, edited by game theory legend Ian Bogost and cultural studies academic Christopher Schaberg, commissions short essays and small, beautiful books about everyday objects from shipping containers to toast. The Atlantic hosts a collection of "mini object-lessons", brief essays that take a deeper look at things we generally only glance upon ('Is bread toast only insofar as a human toaster perceives it to be "done?" Is bread toast when it reaches some specific level of nonenzymatic browning?'). More substantive is Bloomsbury's collection of small, gorgeously designed books that delve into their subjects in much more depth." --Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing