Places Of Invention by Arthur P. MolellaPlaces Of Invention by Arthur P. Molella

Places Of Invention

EditorArthur P. Molella, Anna Karvellas

Hardcover | June 30, 2015

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The companion book to an upcoming museum exhibition of the same name, Places of Invention seeks to answer timely questions about the nature of invention and innovation:  What is it about some places that sparks invention and innovation? Is it simply being at the right place at the right time, or is it more than that? How does “place”—whether physical, social, or cultural—support, constrain, and shape innovation? Why does invention flourish in one spot but struggle in another, even very similar location? In short: Why there? Why then?
Places of Invention frames current and historic conversation on the relationship between place and creativity, citing extensive scholarship in the area and two decades of investigation and study from the National Museum of American History’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation. The book is built around six place case studies: Hartford, CT, late 1800s; Hollywood, CA, 1930s; Medical Alley, MN, 1950s; Bronx, NY,1970s; Silicon Valley, CA, 1970s–1980s; and Fort Collins, CO, 2010s. Interspersed with these case studies are dispatches from three “learning labs” detailing Smithsonian Affiliate museums’ work using Places of Invention as a model for documenting local invention and innovation.
Written by exhibition curators, each part of the book focuses on the central thesis that invention is everywhere and fueled by unique combinations of creative people, ready resources, and inspiring surroundings. Like the locations it explores, Places of Invention shows how the history of invention can be a transformative lens for understanding local history and cultivating creativity on scales of place ranging from the personal to the national and beyond.
Arthur P. Molella is the director of the Smithsonian Institution’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the National Museum of American History. His publications include volumes 1–4 of The Papers of Joseph Henry, Inventing for the Environment, and Invented Edens: Techno-cities of the 20th Century. Anna Karvellas...
Title:Places Of InventionFormat:HardcoverDimensions:312 pages, 10.3 × 8.45 × 1.03 inPublished:June 30, 2015Publisher:SmithsonianLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1935623680

ISBN - 13:9781935623687

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Editorial Reviews

CHOICEAs the title indicates, this book is companion to an exhibition, both of which are the result of research conducted by the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.  Together they explore the contexts for invention and innovation, i.e., "What is it about some places that sparks invention and innovation?  Is it simply being at the right place at the right time ... ?  How does 'place'—whether physical, social, or cultural—support, constrain, and shape innovation?"  This coffee-table book covers an eclectic range of disciplines and time periods over a geographical area encompassing the continental US.  Beginning with the semiconductor and computer industries in Silicon Valley (1970s-80s), it moves to the Bronx where hip-hop music was born and developed (1970s), and then to Medical Alley, MN, where medical technology was developed (1950s).  The oldest "place of invention" examined is Hartford, CT, in the late 1800s, at the height of its machine tool and small arms industries.  Hollywood is visited during the introduction of Technicolor in movies (1930s).  And  Fort Collins, CO, is the place responsible for environmental innovations in this decade.  The six main case studies are accompanied by three "learning labs" showcasing efforts by Smithsonian affiliate museums to document inventions in Peoria, Pittsburgh, and Seattle.--A. M. Strauss, Vanderbilt University Summing Up: Recommended. General readers.