Tag Archives: Design Philosophy

12 Books of Christmas: The Death and Life of Great American Cities

There were quite a few failed attempts to create the Panama canal before someone finally got it done. The problem wasn’t really a technical one, it was malaria. We’d always wanted a direct route from the Atlantic to the Pacific, … Continue reading

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Building Heritage

Whenever the issue of heritage buildings comes up, my natural scepticism comes to the fore. In Wellington I was involved in a number of very dubious “heritage” buildings whose aesthetic and historical merits were at best murky. For me, the … Continue reading

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Engineering Uncertainty

Apparently someone called James Amrhein said that Structural Engineering is: The art and science of moulding materials we do not fully understand; into shapes we cannot precisely analyse; to resist forces we cannot accurately predict; all in such a way … Continue reading

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Standardization

“Crisis” is perhaps too strong a word for it, but the NZ engineering profession is going through some tribulations at the moment because of the consequences of the Canterbury Earthquakes. There is, I think, a general sentiment amongst the public and amidst … Continue reading

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The Constraints on Engineering Knowledge

I remember supervising a particularly problematical job a couple of years back. The blocklayers who did all of the foundation work were completely useless. I visited the site twice a day to ensure some kind of quality construction. Anyway, despite … Continue reading

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Thinking of building?

Over the years, I’ve often been asked “so, what exactly do engineers do, is that welding?” Well, today, I present the Mashugenish Guide to The Building Industry 1. Someone buys a house they don’t like, or they inherit it from … Continue reading

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