Small Things Considered: Why There is No Perfect Design

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Alfred A. Knopf, 2003 - 288 páginas
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Henry Petroski, "America's poet laureate of technology" ("Kirkus Reviews")-author of "The Pencil and The Evolution of Useful Things"-now gives us an entertaining and perceptive study of design in everyday life, while revealing the checkered pasts, and some possible futures, of familiar objects.
Chairs, lightbulbs, cup holders, toothbrushes, doorknobs, light switches, potato peelers, paper bags, duct tape-as ubiquitous as these may be, they are still works in progress. The design of such ordinary items demonstrates the simple brilliance of human creativity, while at the same time showing the frustration of getting anything completely right. Nothing's perfect, and so the quest for perfection continues to continue.
In this engrossing and insightful book, Petroski takes us inside the creative process by which common objects are invented and improved upon in pursuit of the ever-elusive perfect thing. He shows us, for instance, how the disposable paper cup became a popular commercial success only after the public learned that shared water glasses could carry germs; how it took years, an abundance of business panache, and many discarded models-from cups that opened like paper bags to those that came with pleats-for the inventor of the paper cup to arrive at what we now use and toss away without so much as a thought for its fascinating history.
A trenchant, surprising evaluation of why some designs succeed and others don't, Small Things Considered is also an utterly delightful study of human nature.

Henry Petroski, the Aleksandar S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering and a professor of history at Duke University, lives in Durham, North Carolina. He is the author of ten previousbooks.

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Reseña de usuario  - Chris177 - LibraryThing

Every time I read a Henry Petroski book I never see the world the same way again. If you find the natural world exciting and enjoy reading about the wonders of our planet, you should try reading Henry ... Leer reseña completa

LibraryThing Review

Reseña de usuario  - cmbeck82 - LibraryThing

A very light and fun design book for designers in just about any discipline. The historical accounts he gives of the smallest objects such as the the paper cup to the grocery bag illuminates the ... Leer reseña completa

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Sobre el autor (2003)

Henry Petroski, the Aleksandar S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering and a professor of history at Duke University, lives in Durham, North Carolina. He is the author of ten previous books.

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