Thursday, October 26, 2017
The Evolution of Useful Things
Form follows function - except when function follows form. This follow-up to To Engineer is Human (which has been on my shelf, unread, for at least 15 years) traces the origins of items such as table flatware and paperclips from their origins as natural items (shells and thorns respectively) to their modern forms. The chapter on metal cans is particularly interesting because it shows how some solutions bring up additional problems - first, how do you open it, and later how do you deal with the waste of pull tabs?