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I have nothing but respect for John Maeda. He's one of those rare people who stands at the cusp of three or four disciplines - say graphic design, programming, information architecture, and fine art - and exerts a gentle gravitational attraction on the long-sundered fields. He's a true practitioner of what E.O. Wilson calls "consilience," and I find his work unfailingly beautiful. "Maeda@Media" is a far more comprehensive introduction to and summary of his work than his earlier ""Design by Numbers." It is also an exquisitely produced volume, and if it is occasionally self-indulgent (spending 60-odd pages on a graphic that spells out "IT IS CUSTOMARY THAT THE SIDES OF A PAGE BE NEGLECTED IN FAVOR OF ITS FRONT AND BACK" on their edges) - well, I'll forgive that. It's a gorgeous tome. Maeda is doing vital and inspiring work; this book should be a kick in the pants to all those of us who work in any of the disparate fields his work touches upon: only connect.
I have some programming skills and a budding web designer. I was really impressed with this body of work, especially considering the time frame it covers. The value for me was that the reader gets an understanding <albeit limited> of what the "artist" has rendered. You you have read any of Paul Rand's essays, you can identify the significance of this work. This book is not a quick read, but a meal of ideas to be savored. I am still savoring this book, and it is really one of the best books I have enjoyed. Thanks!
Reviewed in the United States on December 11, 2000
I have always been impressed with John Maeda's work: "Tap, Type, Write" is beautifully interactive, "Design By Numbers" is extremely innovative. Professor Maeda's newest endeavor, Maeda@Media is no different. It is a monument to Information Aesthetics and an icon for Information Society at large. The book itself, is painstakenly crafted with different types of papers. The images inside evoke a million poignant words. Professor Maeda's insights are invaluable. John Maeda uncovers a rare beauty in computing.
Reviewed in the United States on September 25, 2001
I hate to be the one to go against the other reviews, but I had to with this one. I just didnt see why people liked the book. I found the designs to be very techy and old school...mostly examples of what computer design used to encompass. I wasnt inspired by any of the work in the this HUGE book. If you want cutting edge inspiration, look elsewhere.