This article presents various excerpts from a book To Forgive Design: Understanding Failure, by Henri Petroski. The book focuses on inevitability of failure and the role it plays in the advance of technology. Technology has always been risky business, but quantifying that risk is a relatively new phenomenon in the worlds of engineering and management, which should be more integrated than they often are. Parking decks are familiar structures that do fail now and then, and the failures can often be traced to something out of the ordinary in their design or construction. Such collapses might never have occurred if the structures and everything surrounding them had been exact copies of those that had stood the test of time, but even repeated success is no guarantee against future failure. In fact, prolonged success, whether it be in a space shuttle program or in the design and construction of parking garages, tends to lead to either complacency or change, both of which can ultimately lead to failure.

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