To Forgive Design Understanding Failure

ISBN-10: 0674065840

ISBN-13: 9780674065840

Edition: 2012

Authors: Henry Petroski
List price: $27.95
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Book details

List price: $27.95
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 3/30/2012
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 432
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.50" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.298

Henry Petroski is an American engineer with wide-ranging historical and sociocultural interests. He earned a Ph.D. in theoretical and applied mechanics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1968, and became Aleksandar S. Vesic professor and chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Duke University. Petroski teaches traditional engineering subjects, as well as courses for nonengineering students, that place the field in a broad social context. One of the major themes that transcends his technical and nontechnical publications is the role of failure and its contribution to successful design. This is the central theme in his study To Engineer Is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design, which is accessible to both engineers and general readers. This theme is also incorporated into Petroski's The Pencil: A History of Design and Circumstance (1990), which relates the history of the pencil to broader sociocultural themes. The theme is expanded further, illustrating the relationship of engineering to our everyday life in The Evolution of Useful Things (1992). Petroski's most recent book, Design Paradigms: Case Histories of Error and Judgment in Engineering, is planned for publication in 1994. After that, he will begin a study of the complex interrelationships between engineering and culture. Widely recognized and supported by both the technical and humanities communities, Petroski's work has effectively conveyed the richness and essence of engineering in its societal context for the general reader.

Preface
By Way of Concrete Examples
Things Happen
Designed to Fail
Mechanics of Failure
A Repeating Problem
The Old and the New
Searching for a Cause
The Obligation of an Engineer
Before, during, and after the Fall
Legal Matters
Back-Seat Designers
Houston, You Have a Problem
Without a Leg to Stand On
History and Failure
Notes
Illustrations
Index
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