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Design Paradigms by Henry Petroski

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7

The Britannia Tubular Bridge

A Paradigm of Tunnel Vision in Design

 

 

 

Not all engineering failures take place suddenly and dramatically, accompanied by the crack and crash of steel and the tragic loss of life. Indeed, some classic errors in design have been all but ignored and forgotten in the context of what are generally hailed as tremendously successful projects. Yet these errors can be no less endemic in the design process, and hence case studies elucidating them can be extremely instructive and valuable for the teaching and practice of design. One class of such errors may be described by the rubric of tunnel vision in design, and like other types of errors, it is best introduced through a paradigmatic case history.

One of the most ...

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