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Petroski on Engineering: a Geography of Design

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Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Engineering Design
Ann R. Thryft   6/12/2012 2:22:57 PM
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Thanks for a thoughtful post, and one mentioning what used to be a favorite subject of mine: book design. I think SparkyWatt's comments on CAD are unfortunately true, at least for some objects we live and work with. And I see the same trend in book publishing, if you can call it that anymore, due to the proliferation of electronic "books" and e-readers. I think Apple has been a leader for exterior consumer electronics design, at least. Too bad that other areas are not benefiting from their leadership. I wonder if 3D printing could be that new, more intuitive design method.

bobjengr
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Petroski on Engineering: a Geography of Design
bobjengr   6/9/2012 12:59:06 PM
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I have always been involved with manufacturing a product, consequently designing jigs, fixtures, conveyors, robotic equipment to automate processes etc.  As a result, getting the job accomplished trumps getting the job accomplished—with flair and style.  I certainly do appreciate the work of Jobs and the Apple folks but then again, all of the Apple products are consumer products.  I never expect the buying public to see the conveyors necessary to expedite production and handling.  When I think about all of the "pains" and effort put into the i-Pad, i-Phone, i-Book designs I conclude I'm on the right side of the commercialization equation.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Engineering Design
Rob Spiegel   6/7/2012 9:17:07 AM
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It's all the same to me, Ann. But from a materials point of view, I'm quite amazed at the adheisive on the back of these little hearts. Once they're on, you really can't get them off. 

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Engineering Design
Ann R. Thryft   6/6/2012 4:23:33 PM
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Rob, I think rhinestones qualify as bling (since they're in essence fake diamonds), but don't you think that sparkly hearts are more flair than bling?

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Engineering Design
Rob Spiegel   6/6/2012 3:07:02 PM
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Yes, that will do it, Ann. My daughter asked whether I minded that the dumbphone she swapped with me (for her smartphone) had bling on it. I told her the bling looks great. The phone has hearts with colorful dots. And you can't get them off.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Engineering Design
Ann R. Thryft   6/6/2012 12:55:56 PM
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Now I know what to do with all that rhinestone jewelry I've got left over from the glitzy 80s: tape it to my notebook! It will be totally blinged out.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Engineering Design
Rob Spiegel   6/5/2012 11:25:50 AM
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Yep, it's a big trend. You can accessorize your iPod and iPhone to match what you're wearing. Apple and other suppliers are doing a big business in brightly colored sparkling covers for iPods and iPhones. Additional bling includes little items of colorful shapes. I bought my daughter a smartphone and inherited her dumbophone with has two sparkly hearts on the front. 

ricardo
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Beauty in the Mac
ricardo   6/4/2012 7:30:02 PM
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It wasn't Jobs that brought beauty to the Mac.  It was Jef Raskin.  Search out his books & papers if you really want to know about form & function.

In an earlier age, L F Herroshoff's advice to a budding yacht designer was to ".. draw as much as possible (particularly freehand drawing)".  Herroshoff was the son of an outstanding yacht designer and was himself one.

Both him & his father made significant advances to the technology of ship engineering for which, ".. it is very necessary to serve your time in a boat shop, where boats are really built, as this is the only practical way to learn."

I think his advice is just as valid to the budding engineer today.

An engineer's eye should be always looking to function.  But in the greatest designs, form & function are one.  Witness Mitchell's Spitfire or Sayer's E-type

Charles Murray
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Re: Engineering Design
Charles Murray   6/4/2012 4:27:20 PM
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Rob, my kids are a little older than yours, so I'm embarrassed to admit I don't know what it means to customize Apple products with bling. Are we taping jewelry to our iPads? Is this a trend?

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Engineering Design
Rob Spiegel   6/4/2012 2:01:27 PM
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I agree with you about engineering deisgn, Sparky Watt. Even today we see it. The Apple products are sleek and clean, engineering simplicity. Of course that changes quite a bit when my 16-year-old daughter customizes the products with bling.

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