Bridge = Design + Utility + Risk09 Apr 2012
Architecture is a craft that comes with a lot of responsibility. Take the bridge, for example. It’s at the intersection of design, utility, and risk.
When it comes to building them, you cannot ‘fail fast’ or release unstable releases, discover bugs, and then iterate. No, your first release has to be your best and the most rigorous of stress tests must somehow be conducted pre-launch.
Imagine creating a work that can support the wear of tens of people driving tons of steel over it day in and day out (the George Washington Bridge supports ~310,000 cars/day). It must remain unaffected by environmental factors - rain, snow, strong winds, extreme temperatures. And you must be quite certain it does both, for the cost of doing it incorrectly is high and the likelihood of edge cases (heavy winds + wet snow + cars packed end-to-end on the bridge) is also high.
Never mind aesthetics.