“The Role of the Engineer” By Peter Rice

It’s only a matter of time before this elusive book, “An Engineer Imagines” finds it’s way into my possession. Until then, short excerpts will have to do.

The Role of the Engineer

In this piece, Rice explains the ways in which the work of an engineer differs from that of an architect. In his description, architects are the visionaries whose work is drawn from artistic inspiration. Since engineers are perceived as practical and dry, he argues that their unique form of innovation gets lost, or at least hidden, within the complexity of seemingly boring systems.

If good engineers are expected to search for creative solutions (like architects) it’s only fair to expect that good architects attempt to do the same (think more like engineers). This may mean moving past strictly subjective design criteria and reach solutions that can be explained objectively. Not all designers do, but most of my favorites share this trait.