While exploded views can be traced all the way back to the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, it wasn’t until the manufacturing boom of the mid-twentieth century where the term “Exploded View Drawing” became an industry standard for engineering and manufacturing professionals.

Today, fascination with exploded views has crossed over into the mainstream as these informative drawings—intended to convey the relationship or order of assembly of various parts—have made their way to instruction manuals, marketing materials, and other distribution channels outside of the factory.

More recently, Photographer Richard Parry created a mesmerizing collection devoted to the exploded view—using the actual hardware parts strategically laid across sheets of clear plastic to achieve the right perspective:

The Verge recently talked with Parry to talk more about his process and how the idea came about:

First, I’ve got to strip them all down to their parts and clean all the years of dirt and dust out. (There’s heaps.) I lay everything out in order of what level they’ll be on. To achieve the floating in midair look, I separate everything with clear sheets of plastic on a rig I made out of PVC piping. 

Read the interview in full here, or check out more of Parry’s series over on his Instagram feed.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.