Overview

From classical temples to twentieth century towers, engineers have learned more about design from failure than from success. The concept of error, according to the author of Design Paradigms, is central to the design process. As a way of explaining the enduring aspects of engineering design, Henry Petroski relates stories of some of the greatest engineering successes and failures of all time. These case studies, drawn from a wide range of times and places, from Ancient Greece and Rome to modern America, serve as ...

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Design Paradigms

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Overview

From classical temples to twentieth century towers, engineers have learned more about design from failure than from success. The concept of error, according to the author of Design Paradigms, is central to the design process. As a way of explaining the enduring aspects of engineering design, Henry Petroski relates stories of some of the greatest engineering successes and failures of all time. These case studies, drawn from a wide range of times and places, from Ancient Greece and Rome to modern America, serve as paradigms of error and judgment in engineering design. By showing how errors were introduced in the design process and how they might be avoided, the book suggests how better quality and reliability might be achieved in designed devices, structures, and systems of all kinds. Clearly written, with striking illustrations, the book will appeal to engineering students, practicing engineers, historians of science and technology, and all those interested in learning about the process of design.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781107385023
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Sales rank: 1,167,871
  • File size: 6 MB

Table of Contents

Preface
1 Introduction 1
2 Paconius and the Pedestal for Apollo: A Paradigm of Error in Conceptual Design 15
3 Vitruvius's Auger and Galileo's Bones: Paradigms of Limits to Size in Design 29
4 Galileo and the Marble Column: A Paradigm of a Design Change for the Worse 47
5 Galileo's Confirmation of a False Hypothesis: A Paradigm of Logical Error in Design 64
6 The Design and Collapse of the Dee Bridge: A Paradigm of Success Masking Error 81
7 The Britannia Tubular Bridge: A Paradigm of Tunnel Vision in Design 99
8 Failure as a Source of Engineering Judgment: John Roebling as a Paradigmatic Designer 121
9 The Design Climate for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge: A Paradigm of the Selective Use of History 144
10 Historic Bridge Failures and Caveats for Future Designs 166
11 Conclusion 180
Bibliography 187
Index 201
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