"Bucciarelli's vigorous, humane intelligence sheds new light on the inner dynamics of technological choice. This book is truly one of a kind."
-- Langdon Winner, author of "The Whale and the Reactor"
The products of engineering design are everywhere, but who or what determines their form and function? Their surfaces are usually cold, seemingly objective, as if they existed outside of history of the technologies that are so much a part of our lives. Written by a practicing engineer, Designing Engineers yields clues to this mystery by probing deeply into the everyday world of engineering. In doing so, it reveals significant discrepancies between our ideal image of design as an instrumental process and the reality of design as a historically situated social process that is full of uncertainty and ambiguity.
Designing Engineers describes the evolution of three disparate projects: an x-ray inspection system for airports, a photoprint machine, and a residential photovoltaic energy system. In each case, we are taken through the hallways and into the meeting rooms of the company to watch over the shoulders of engineers as they engage in the manifold individual and collective work that goes into designing a new product.