A plea for the practice of focal engineering

TitleA plea for the practice of focal engineering
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsMoriarty, G.
Secondary TitleTechnology in society

Engineering can exhibit an exalted sense by the creation of place as a location of engaging life events. This is most obviously the case with what will be termed "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, know-how/know-what for modernist engineering, and know-how/know-what/know-why for focal engineering. Various notions of place and space are relevant to these three kinds of engineering. In traditional engineering, place and space remain in the background. 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. The phenomenon of sacred place/space is also considered in relation to these three traditions of engineering.