How we represent objects seems like a given: Central projection, where a drawing directs planes through a central fixed point to represent three-dimensional reality is the only way. (OK, unless you're M.C. Escher.) But not so fast, says Massimo Scolari. The visiting professor at Yale University says that despite the dominance of central projection in the last 80 years, thanks mainly to Erwin Panofsky's Perspective as Symbolic Form (1927), other ways of looking at buildings and objects have existed even longer. For his book, Oblique Drawing: A History of Anti-Perspective, Scolari has collected examples of alternate ways of seeing, or what he calls "anti-perspective," from over the last 2,000 years. Parallel projection is found on classical Greek vases, for one, and nonperspectival representation is found in pre-Renaissance architectural models. "Viewers in modern Western societies usually read ancient and medieval examples of oblique drawing as stepping-stones toward perspectival representaion," architectural historian James Ackerman writes in the forward. And yet there are advantages to other perspectives. Leonardo da Vinci, for example, used parallel projection, possibly because he valued representing accurately the space of the object more than the object in space. Scolari shows us that our way of seeing things generally reveals just that: our ideological and philosophical perspective. • $39.95; The MIT Press, October 2012