Steven Forbis

A spin-off of David Macaulay’s 1988 best-selling book, The Way Things Work 2.0 succeeds as a multimedia conversion but doesn’t quite deliver on its title’s promise. Macaulay’s ingenious drawings, which show the inner workings of some 200 devices — from airliner wing to zipper — benefit from animation and sound effects. Click on a word and up comes a definition or a cross-reference.

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Audio and video technology

The paradox of making hard things soft is a trick nature mastered long ago; consider the rounded stones of a streambed. Now designers are trying to instill a similar sense of softness in audio and video gear as an alternative to the angular, black, technocratic style that dominated the ’80s. Drawing on the natural world for inspiration in color, texture, and form, they can do in a few minutes with plastic or metal what erosion takes thousands of years to do with rocks. ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY presents some of the best of the new designs on these and the following pages.

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