Using patterns to shape our world

Escher picture

In the 1990s, Erich Gamma changed the way I thought about software engineering forever! Gamma visited the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne where I was a PhD student, in order to give a seminar on design patterns.

The idea of extracting a solution template from a piece of software to turn it into a pattern which can be reused, was to me, an exciting step forward in software engineering. Instead of reusing software from a library that needs to be maintained and ported as necessary, abstracting the solution and creating a pattern repository gives software engineers a toolbox of meta-level solutions.

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Designing with the future in mind: The Transporter Bridge, Middlesbrough

Transporter, Middlesbrough

Car use in the UK has risen an astonishing 70% in the last two decades and will apparently continue to rise, causing no end of headaches for structural engineers. When they design bridges, engineers need to anticipate factors such as current and future traffic on the bridge at any given time. Continue reading “Designing with the future in mind: The Transporter Bridge, Middlesbrough”

Why my coffee machine is so sexy

My La Pavoni Professional looks fabulous in my kitchen and makes even more fabulous coffee. What else could a coffee machine give me? What about the feeling that I am an extremely clever girl everytime I pull an espresso?

From a usability point of view there is nothing more a kitchen appliance can do for its consumer. I love the way it looks, what it gives me, and how I feel when I use it.

Why is this so? Continue reading “Why my coffee machine is so sexy”