David Macaulay studied architecture in school, but he never really wanted to design a physical building. “I just wanted to see my name on the cover of a book,” he says. But leaf through any of the 20 wondrous books he has created over the past 31 years–many of which explain in accessible, oh-that’s-how-they-did-it illustrations how architectural wonders such as pyramids and cathedrals were built–and it’s clear his passion runs much deeper. Macaulay is one of the country’s foremost designers of information: He uncovers the “organizing principles,” as design guru Richard Saul Wurman puts it, of the things, both grand and mundane, that mystify us. And with last year’s publication of Mosque, Macaulay offers his readers more than just an illustration of The Way Things Work (the title of his best-selling book). Mosque, begun three days after the terrorist attacks of September 11, epitomizes Macaulay’s unrivaled ability to communicate across the cultural boundaries that so often divide us.
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