Volume 5, Issue 2, Winter 2000
The Place of Engineering and the Engineering of Place
The role or place of engineering is to engineer place, a location of engaging life events. That is the case for focal engineering, which is distinguished from two other kinds of engineering: traditional engineering and modernist engineering. These three kinds of engineering are discussed in terms of ways of knowing appropriate to them: know-how for traditionalist engineering, knowhow/know- what for modernist engineering, and know-how/know- what/know-why for focal
engineering. Various notions of place and space are relevant to the three kinds of engineering discussed. In traditional engineering, place and space are backgrounded. In modernist engineering, space begins to dominate, causing a disharmony in the place/space constellation. In focal engineering, place is stressed in order to re-harmonize the place/space constellation.