September 14, 2017, Updated October 2, 2017

To mark the 100th anniversary of the publication of Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, the first prototype of Genius: 100 Visions of the Future — the world’s first entirely 3D-printed book printed and bound in one piece — was produced on the International Space Station in zero-gravity conditions 400 kilometers above Earth.

The project was conceived by Rami Kleinmann, head of Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University. Einstein was one of the founders of the university, which has two campuses in Jerusalem and one in Rehovot. When Einstein died in 1955, he left his estate and intellectual legacy to the university.

The limited-edition book (300 copies) was designed by Ron Arad, the Israeli-born preeminent industrial designer, architect and modern artist based in London.

The prototype was produced in coordination with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Association of Space Explorers president and astronaut Soichi Noguchi, and 3D Space Book project manager Yifat Sharon.

Designer Ron Arad with “Genius: 100 Visions of the Future.” Photo by Kendra Pierre-Louis/Popular Science

Genius: 100 Visions of the Future features laser-cut pages formed in the silhouette of Einstein. Each of its single-sided 100 pages is devoted to the vision of one distinguished contributor, among them Zubin Mehta, Shimon Peres, Barbra Streisand, Deepak Chopra, Wynton Marsalis, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Francine Prose, Salman Rushdie, David Suzuki, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Frank Gehry and Nobel laureates including Professors Dan Shechtman, Aaron Ciechanover and Robert Aumann of Israel.

The unique book – which Arad inadvertently designed to open left to right, like Hebrew books do — was unveiled September 10 at the Einstein Legacy Project Dinner of the Century in Montreal, part of a yearlong commemoration in collaboration with Guy Laliberte’s Lune Rouge project.

Prominent guests at the dinner included Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, actor James Caan, Air Canada president and CEO Calin Rovinescu, Hebrew University President Asher Cohen, and Toyota Motor Corporation chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada.

Arad’s sculptures, industrial design pieces and buildings are scattered across many sites the world over. His architectural works in Israel include the iconic Design Museum of Holon and what will soon be Israel’s tallest skyscraper, in Tel Aviv.

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

Executive Director

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