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Design Paradigms by Henry Petroski

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Introduction

 

 

 

The concept of failure is central to the design process, and it is by thinking in terms of obviating failure that successful designs are achieved. It has long been practically a truism among practicing engineers and designers that we learn much more from failures than from successes. Indeed, the history of engineering is full of examples of dramatic failures that were once considered confident extrapolations of successful designs; it was the failures that ultimately revealed the latent flaws in design logic that were initially masked by large factors of safety and a design conservatism that became relaxed with time.

Design studies that concentrate only on how successful designs are produced can thus miss some fundamental ...

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