How engineers and architects differ

engineers design better roads — architects design better bike paths
engineers like reading reports — architects like reading essays
engineers like single big things — architects like many small things
engineers aim for targets — architects aim for utopia
engineers make rules — architects break rules
engineers count economic capital costs — architects count cultural-capital dividends
engineers design better roads — architects design better bike paths

8 Comments

  1. Colin says:

    Where are the best bike paths? The Netherlands.
    Who designed them? Engineers.

  2. Steven says:

    The Nescio Bicycle Bridge in Amsterdam was designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects. The rest is just plumbing. Though if you should be Sir Colin Alexander St John Wilson, I apologize sir, the engineer’s aesthetic is better, as you say sir.

    • Colin says:

      They’re *bike paths*. They basically *are* plumbing, of the transportational variety. It’s the sort of thing you want to get right in the engineering sense so that people don’t die. After that, then sure, let the architects paint flowers on them, or whatever it is they do.

    • Steven says:

      I would just paint word pictures, if that’s okay. Flowers need a rest for a few seasons 🙂

    • Conguill says:

      The Nescio Bicycle Bridge was designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects and engineers Arup. In the words of the architects the bridge,he result of a close collaboration between architects and engineers.”

    • Steven says:

      oh architects can be such greasers sometimes 🙂

  3. kfg says:

    “Where are the best bike paths?”
    China. The best of them are so gorgeous that neither an engineer nor an architect could have been allowed anywhere near the planning. I think they were done by landscape gardeners.

    “engineers like single big things — architects like many small things”
    Contra-indicated by the architect’s love for the monolithic Apple OS and engineers liking the many small tools of *NIX from the console.

    “architects break rules”
    And then engineers have to enforce them, so, ya know, people don’t die and shit.

    “engineers like reading . . .” the essays Energy and Equity by Ivan Illich and Life Without Principle by H.D. Thoreau. They think Twain’s To the Person Sitting in Darkness is a corker as well. Well, at least this one does. But what the hell do I know? I think fixies are the apex of man’s engineering achievements.

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