Henry Petroski’s previous bestsellers have delighted readers with intriguing stories about the engineering marvels around us, from the lowly pencil to the soaring. In this book, Petroski delves deeper into the mystery of invention, to explore what come to expect from his books, Invention by Design reaffirms Petroski as the. INVENTION BY DESIGN: How Engineers Get from Thought to Thing. User Review – Kirkus. A look at the engineering principles behind ordinary objects and .

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Invdntion Options Sign in. Petroski was born in Brooklyn, New York, and inhe received his bachelor’s degree from Manhattan College. Engineering comes into the context of political, social, economic context too. I don’t remember where, but obviously it was over a year ago because that’s when I started reading this.

Jan 17, Jennifer rated it really liked it. Those who do, will appreciate the additional gloss.

This book is the crown jewel in my collection. Nov 19, Babak Ghadiri rated it it was amazing. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.

Our understanding of design is, once again, made richer and more profound. When talking about the Bay Bridge, for example, he goes into great depth here about the impact of factors far removed from statics, dynamics and hydraulics. Widely recognized and supported by both the technical and humanities communities, Petroski’s work has effectively conveyed the richness and essence of engineering in its societal context for the general reader.

Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Before beginning his work at Duke inhe worked at the University of Texas at Austin from and for the Argonne National Laboratory from Invention by Design started out as a random book dewign I picked up at a used bookstore.

Thanks for telling us about the problem. If you’re a history of science and technology person, this is a good book to dive into. The reader will truly get a “feel of engineering” in it. And those who inhabit the world of engineering will discover insights to challenge their customary perspective, whether their work involves failure analysis, systems design, or public relations.



No trivia or quizzes yet. Dec 04, Dena Burnett rated it it was ok. Petroski demonstrates in this well-rounded, accessible volume that great engineers, like all designers, are driven by the desire to improve the human condition, whatever the tools they use.

Other editions – View all Invention by Design: He pehroski with his Ph. About as good as it gets when it comes to trying to understand ‘How Engineers Get from Thought to Thing’ as he puts it himself.

This arrangement explains why the book is required reading for many a student.

Invention by Design: How Engineers Get from Thought to Thing – Henry Petroski – Google Books

Engineering design is a very human activity, with social and cultural factors playing as much a role as science and mechanics. What I found most refreshing, in contrast to the story of architecture, there aren’t “Heros” of engineering. Each of these—along with the paper clip, pencil, zipper, fax machine, water-supply system, bridge and skyscraper—Petroski honors with a heavily invehtion chapter, each a glimpse into the workings of engineering design… [Petroski] tells a good story.

Here Petroski takes a look at the development of such things as pencils, zippers, paper clips, the fax machine, turbojet aircraft, suspension petgoski, aluminum beverage cans, and the systems that heat and cool modern buildings… [A] pleasant, readable, and persuasive [book].

Invention by Design: How Engineers Get from Thought to Thing,

Ostensibly written for intelligent laypersons to give some understanding of how we got to the technological world in which we now live, it will probably be read and enjoyed as much or even more by engineering and product designers.

Mikkiiarora rated it it was ok May 21, Henry Petroski is a civil engineering professor at Duke University where he specializes in failure analysis. Feb 22, William rated it really liked it Shelves: The chapter on airplanes was good and some insights into aluminum cans were amusing. It is wonderful read for an engineer as well as general public.


In this book, Petroski delves deeper into the mystery of invention, to explore what everyday artifacts and sophisticated networks can reveal about the way engineers solve problems.

Students of technology will delight in one part of the book, cultural historians in another, but both groups will praise the author. Case Histories of Error and Judgment in Engineering, is planned for publication petroeki To see a pencil as a cantilever beam or a beverage can as a pressure vessel is to feel the power of engineering insight. Also here is a hint of things to come, as our artifacts play an ever greater role in their own evolution.

Alden, The Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Edward Lear is an apt character to think about at Christmas-time. Jul 02, Grace rated it it was amazing. Mdmonish58 rated it it was amazing Sep 14, Apervenas rated it really liked it Feb 18, Nathan Lambert rated it it was amazing Sep 15, Cesign have personally found the chapter about bridges to be too focused on the drama politics of building bridges and not the science you would need at least some basics of Statics. A new mode of electronic communication?

Invention by design : how engineers get from thought to thing

Invention, Petroski has steadfastly maintained, comes from a failure of design. Petroski teaches traditional engineering subjects, as well as courses for nonengineering students, that place the field in a broad social context.

Return to Book Page. It gives a good overview of the design process for non-engineers. A History of Design and Circumstancewhich relates the history of the pencil to broader sociocultural themes. And that’s exactly what it is.