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March 28, 2024
Simplicity and Space Pens

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” – Albert Einstein

This aphorism about elegance in design informs our approach to contract documents: they must be clear in their concision, but not oversimplified.

During the Space Race of the 1950s and 1960s, NASA spent millions developing a pen that astronauts could use to write in zero gravity—while the Soviets simply gave their cosmonauts pencils. Initially, NASA was ridiculed, but it turned out that the inexpensive Soviet solution could endanger crew and equipment with stray shards of graphite (plus, pencils are flammable). An overly simplified solution can backfire when it doesn’t anticipate all contingencies.

In every set of contract documents we produce, we strive for the same goal: to satisfy the Four C’s:  correct, complete, clear, and concise. So, we draw every detail, rather than leaning on written specifications that can invite misinterpretation. And these details are organized through our Restoration Assembly Detail (RAD) system—a logical, comprehensive system linking all aspects of our CDs.

Our work may not be rocket science, but we’re continually refining our version of the “space pen” to offer practical solutions for each of our projects and clients.

SUPERSTRUCTURES Engineers + Architects

14 Wall Street, 25th Floor, New York, NY 10005
(212) 505 1133


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