Unintended Beauty offers a rare insight into places of work, knowledge and power that are normally kept behind closed doors. Photographer Alastair Philip Wiper’s book is a photographic exploration of industrial iconography and scientific symbolism found in technical facilities in around the world.
The book reveals the accidental aesthetics, sublime complexities and rich details of our machines – machines that smash atoms together, build aeroplanes, produce medicine, make shoes, stuff sausages, and more. “The human mind is capable of extraordinary things. We create systems, structures and machines that allow us to provide for our lives and answer our questions about the universe. Machines tell the story of our needs and desires, our hopes and follies, our visions for the future.” – Alastair Philip Wiper
Wiper portrays the imperfectly perfect and he consistently challenges the common perception of beauty by highlighting the unintended aesthetics of industry, science and architecture. “Something I want to do is challenge what people think of as beautiful, because there are a lot of things that you can say are ugly and beautiful at the same time. The title of the book ‘Unintended beauty’ is meant to be a bit provocative. A lot of beautiful things should have a bit of ugliness to them.” – Alastair Philip Wiper
The book is published by Hatje Cantz and features a foreword by renowned theoretical physicist Marcelo Gleiser, and an interview with Alastair by Ian Chillag, host of NPR’s Everything is Alive podcast. Facilities featured in the book include Boeing, adidas, The European Space Agency, Playmobil, Steinway & Sons, Kvadrat, CERN, Maersk, Absolut, Bang & Olufsen, Danish Crown, Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, Orsted, Technical University of Denmark, Mykita, RealDoll, Arla, Doc Johnson, Koenigsegg, ITER nuclear fusion experiment and many more.