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These oddly satisfying photos reveal the inner workings of everyday objects

Have you ever wished you could look inside the guts of your drill, video game console, or vacuum cleaner? The hidden worlds inside these everyday electronics are on full view in  The Hidden World Inside Everyday Objects, a book of mesmerizing photographs of objects that have been perfectly cut in half.

The 144-page hardcover book is a trip back in time for anyone like me, who wasted hours upon hours exploring cutaway illustration books from renowned British illustrator Stephen Biesty and other authors in the 1980s and ’90s. Those popular books usually used hand-drawn diagrams to give readers a look inside airplanes, Roman buildingsman-of-war ships, and even appliances.

[Photo: Jonothan Woodward/courtesy Chronicle Books]
Instead of using illustration or CGI, the photographer behind the new book, Jonothan Woodward, took a novel approach. He captured the work of metal tinkerer Mike Warren, who uses a high-pressure waterjet cutter capable of slicing through four inches of steel as if it were butter to perfectly bisect everyday objects. Accompanying each photograph are explanations from Warren, who has been doing this for years on his YouTube channel, that walk us through the amazing complexity of the many apparently simple objects.

Yet the photos are mesmerizing on their own, inviting the reader to explore and wonder how things like the complex set of gears and electrical parts that make a power drill do their job. Even apparently simple objects like a hair dryer take on a new internal life. The book is a beautiful exercise in revealing the design and engineering behind mundane household objects, but also a testimony to the sheer brilliance of humans in general.

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