FIGURE 1.4 Views of the role of design in engineering. (A) The sequence of actions in engineering. Design is continually evaluated by comparison of performance in relation to design criteria. (B) Increasing scales of testing required for development of a successful design.
The critical work of engineering is to design, build, and operate useful things. Although different people are usually involved with each phase of this sequence, there is a constant feedback to the design activity (Figure 1.4A). Thus, it may be said that design is the essential element in engineering (Florman, 1976; Layton, 1976; Mikkola, 1993). Design is a creative process for making a plan to solve a problem or to build something. It involves rational, usually quantitatively based, decision making that utilizes knowledge derived from science and from past experience. A protocol is often used to test a design against a previously established set of criteria before full implementation. This protocol is composed of a set of tests of increasing scale (Figure 1.4B), which builds confidence in the choice of design alternatives. Horenstein (1999) provides a comparison of qualities of good vs. bad design that indicates the basic concerns in any engineering project (Table 1.5). A number of books have been written that describe the engineering method with a focus on design (Adams, 1991; Bucciarelli, 1994; Ferguson, 1992; Vincenti, 1990), and the work of Henry Petroski (1982, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1997a) is particularly extensive, including his regular column in the journal American Scientist.
Although design may be the essential element of engineering, other professions related to ecological engineering also rely on this activity as a basis. Obviously, architecture utilizes design intimately to construct buildings and to organize landscapes. As an example, Ian McHarg's (1969) classic book entitled Design with Nature has inspired a generation of landscape architects to utilize environmental sciences as a basis for design. Design with Nature is now a philosophical stance that describes how to interface man and nature into sustainable systems with applications which range from no-till agriculture to urban planning. Another important precursor for ecological engineering is Buckminster Fuller's "Comprehensive Anticipatory Design Science," which prescribes a holistic approach to meeting the needs of humanity by "doing more with less" (Baldwin, 1996; Edmondson, 1992; Fuller, 1963). Finally, many hybrid architect-scientist-engineers have written about ecolog-
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