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Pasta by Design Hardcover – September 19, 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“For each [type of pasta], the book provides a mathematical equation, a mouth-watering picture and a paragraph of suggestions, like sauces to eat it with.” (New York Times)

“The book classifies 92 kinds of pasta, organizing them into an evolutionlike family tree.” (New York Times)

“On first glance, this design-based typology of pasta appears to be a mathematically inclined reference that makes an ideal gift at holiday time. Look a little deeper, however, and you’ll find an amazing cookbook.” (Gastronomica)

“Culinary advice on cooking these forms accompany an artistic presentation suitable for arts and culinary holdings alike.” (The Midwest Book Review)

About the Author

George L. Legendre is principal of IJP Architects in London and a leading specialist in complex surfaces.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson; Ill edition (September 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500515808
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500515808
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #713,078 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my Montessori students (grades 4-6), but it is definitely just on loan to the class. The fun for students, besides poring over the pasta pictures, is trying to graph the second and third faces that are given by a formula (one face is always shown). It's a bonus to have the pasta taxonomy laid out at the front, and the fold-out chart relating the method of creation for each of the various shapes at the back. Lots of oohing going on in class. I'm looking forward to browsing from a cook's perspective as well!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a foodie with more than 100 cook books. Just a guess, as I've never counted. I bought this book because I'm a mathematician, and try to present math to non-mathematicians in an inviting, non-intimidating way.

This book does that, but I took a further step and put the equations into a programming language called Mathematica; which allows me to show "3D" graphics of the pasta shape on a computer screen based on the equations. I can spin the shape around and replace values in the equation to show how the shape changes. When I show this to young children, they all say, "Wow, lemme do that!".

This is the kind of book that can change a child's life. For adults not particularly interested in math or pasta, the book has a nice graphic design for presenting technical information which I have shamelessly stolen to boost my consulting rate.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm Italian and into pasta industry. It could be the reason I really expected more from this book.
Actually, this is just a meaningless bunch of information with a very disappointing execution. The idea sounded nice, to represent pasta with mathematical formulas, and the initial "pasta taxonomy" tree is a good starting point. What comes next is a total waste of trees: wrong pasta names (pasta shapes are much, much more than what is represented here, and authors really don't realize names also change a lot), meaningless maths which is done only to WOW a non expert but it's only a bunch of xyz equations so long that any shape can be actually drawn in this way, there is no real interesting maths inside, and - most important to me - totally wrong and disappointing photography. Pasta is not easy to photograph, I know by personal experience, but some of the images are really worse than any schoolboy could get by playing with the camera one hour. Postprocessing is totally not professional, result is a bunch of washed out photos.

Sorry to say this, but this is a pointless book originating from a quite good idea,

Conclusion: save a tree.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought it as a present (for a pasta lover, mathematician and designer). It's fun to skim it for a bit, maybe use as decoration, but contains little information, so I ended up returning it and getting the geometry of pasta instead The Geometry of Pasta.

Since there's no "look inside" for it, let me describe what it looks like: it's a very complete list of pasta shapes, each taking two pages. One has a nice picture; the other contains a very short description (~25 words, maybe saying where it's most popular or what kind of sauces go well with it), parametric equations to describe its shape, and a 3D wireframe-ish figure. It also has an interesting "pasta map". So, if you're looking for a quirky book on pasta for a mathematically minded person, this might be the perfect one. But don't expect any recipe here!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Love all the tidbits of on pasta and the equations as well. It's quite the novelty. The photographs were a bit iffy.

This is not a book to get if you are looking for in-depth histories or math. Like I said before, it's just a fun novelty for when you're bored.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bought this for my architect husband who enjoys pasta. He was impressed with the engineering design that went into the book. Would recommend as an addition to any pasta lover architect or engineer's book collection..
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My son, the math genius, was totally surprised to receive this for Christmas. I must admit, I caught myself thumbing the pages and mesmorized (sp) by the information in this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Gave this as a Christmas gift and the recipient loved it. A really cool, cool book and fun to read. This may peak your interest in Math if you are not a fan.
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