To Engineer Is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design

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9780679734161: To Engineer Is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design

How did a simple design error cause one of the great disasters of the 1980s - the collapse of the walkways at the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel? What made the graceful and innovative Tacoma Narrows Bridge twist apart in a mild wind in 1940? How did an oversized waterlily inspire the magnificent Crystal Palace, the crowning achievement of Victorian architecture and engineering? These are some of the failures and successes that Henry Petroski, author of the acclaimed "The Pencil," examines in this engaging, wonderfully literate book. More than a series of fascinating case studies, "To Engineer is Human" is a work that looks at our deepest notions of progress and perfection, tracing the fine connection between the quantifiable realm of science and the chaotic realities of everyday life.

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Review:

The moral of this book is that behind every great engineering success is a trail of often ignored (but frequently spectacular) engineering failures. Petroski covers many of the best known examples of well-intentioned but ultimately failed design in action -- the galloping Tacoma Narrows Bridge (which you've probably seen tossing cars willy-nilly in the famous black-and-white footage), the collapse of the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel walkways -- and many lesser known but equally informative examples. The line of reasoning Petroski develops in this book were later formalized into his quasi-Darwinian model of technological evolution in The Evolution of Useful Things, but this book is arguably the more illuminating -- and defintely the more enjoyable -- of these two titles. Highly recommended.

About the Author:

Henry Petroski is the Aleksandar S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering and a professor of history at Duke University. The author of more than a dozen previous books, he lives in Durham, North Carolina, and Arrowsic, Maine.

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Petroski, Henry
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Book Description Vintage. 1 Paperback(s), 1992. soft. Book Condition: New. How did a simple design error cause the collapse of the walkways at the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel—the deadliest accidental structural failure in U.S. history? What made the graceful and innovative Tacoma Narrows Bridge twist apart in a 40-mph wind in 1940? And, on the plus side, how did an oversized waterlily inspire the magnificent Crystal Palace, the crowning achievement of Victorian architecture and engineering? These are some of the failures and successes explored in this first book by engineer Henry Petroski, the insightful and engaging author of such subsequent examinations as Pushing the Limits, The Pencil, and The Book on the Bookshelf."Serious, amusing, probing, sometimes frightening, and always literate."—LATimes"Reading Petroski's fine book is not only a delight, it is a necessity."—Houston Chronicle 251. Bookseller Inventory # 70363

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 1992. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 201 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. How did a simple design error cause one of the great disasters of the 1980s - the collapse of the walkways at the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel? What made the graceful and innovative Tacoma Narrows Bridge twist apart in a mild wind in 1940? How did an oversized waterlily inspire the magnificent Crystal Palace, the crowning achievement of Victorian architecture and engineering? These are some of the failures and successes that Henry Petroski, author of the acclaimed The Pencil, examines in this engaging, wonderfully literate book. More than a series of fascinating case studies, To Engineer is Human is a work that looks at our deepest notions of progress and perfection, tracing the fine connection between the quantifiable realm of science and the chaotic realities of everyday life. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780679734161

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 1992. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 201 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. How did a simple design error cause one of the great disasters of the 1980s - the collapse of the walkways at the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel? What made the graceful and innovative Tacoma Narrows Bridge twist apart in a mild wind in 1940? How did an oversized waterlily inspire the magnificent Crystal Palace, the crowning achievement of Victorian architecture and engineering? These are some of the failures and successes that Henry Petroski, author of the acclaimed The Pencil, examines in this engaging, wonderfully literate book. More than a series of fascinating case studies, To Engineer is Human is a work that looks at our deepest notions of progress and perfection, tracing the fine connection between the quantifiable realm of science and the chaotic realities of everyday life. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780679734161

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Book Description Vintage Books. Book Condition: new. TO ENGINEER IS HUMAN THE ROLE OF FAILURE IN SUCCESSFUL DESIGN THIS IS A FIRST VINTAGE BOOK APRIL 1992 EDITION IN NEW AND UNUSED CONDITION PERFECT. Bookseller Inventory # 25473

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