Small Things Considered: Why There is No Perfect Design

Vintage Books, 2004 - 288 páginas
Why has the durable paper shopping bag been largely replaced by its flimsy plastic counterpart? What circuitous chain of improvements led to such innovations as the automobile cup holder and the swiveling vegetable peeler? With the same relentless curiosity and lucid, witty prose he brought to his earlier books, Henry Petroski looks at some of our most familiar objects and reveals that they are, in fact, works in progress. For there can never be an end to the quest for the perfect design.

To illustrate his thesis, Petroski tells the story of the paper drinking cup, which owes its popularity to the discovery that water glasses could carry germs. He pays tribute to the little plastic tripod that keeps pizza from sticking to the box and analyzes the numerical layouts of telephones and handheld calculators. Small Things Considered is Petroski at his most trenchant and provocative, casting his eye not only on everyday artifacts but on their users as well.

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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


The Nature of Design
TWO Looking at Design
Illuminating Design
Labyrinthine Design
Domestic Design
Design by the Numbers
Selective Design
A Brush with Design
Design Hits the Wall
EIGHTEEN Design Rising
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Sobre el autor (2004)

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

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