Sunday, January 13, 2008

Book recommendation

To get a feel for evolution and design, the book 'Invention and Evolution: Design in Nature and Engineering' by Michael French is a great starter. It is a fairly old book (1988) but therefore also very clear and recognizable. It talks about important inventions and how they can be optimized by adopting processes from natural evolution.

Did you know that suspension bridges are very much the same design as the skeleton of a Brachiosaur?

This book truly gives you a feel for why things are the way they are, and especially handles mechanical design issues. But the most important thing you can obtain from it is a feeling for the elegance with which nature solves things, and how designers can adopt this way of integrative thinking. Of course, there is much more than mechanical design to be tackled by designers currently, like how designs help people to change, or to give them a certain experience. But still, I think that this way of thinking should also be applied to those issues; i.e. with minimal means reach optimal, elegant results.

The book is ideal for students, is written in a light way, and richly illustrated by all kinds of inventions. Highly recommended, so order it here on Amazon!

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