DESIGN EXPERIENCE 3: Precedents and inspiration

Design has the a reputation of being associated with wild creativity. Yet engineering design must involve a harnessed use of that creativity. Imagine how inefficient it would be if every bridge designer in the world started designing his/her first bridge without prior study of an existing bridge. Engineering design has the beautiful advantage of a starting point: precedents. “I have a feeling that good design, … Continue reading DESIGN EXPERIENCE 3: Precedents and inspiration

Engineering, Beauty and a Longing for the Infinite

This article originally appeared in Scientific American on October 22, 2019 and was written by Margarita A. Mooney.  I do not have copyright to this article so I strongly encourage you to click on the link and read it in its original version.  It describes so well the value of the 2019 summer course we taught and bringing engineering and beauty together.  Thank you Margarita … Continue reading Engineering, Beauty and a Longing for the Infinite

What I am thinking: historian and structural engineer Tyler Sprague

Tyler S. Sprague teaches courses in structural design & architectural history at the University of Washington in Seattle, USA.  He holds engineering degrees from the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Washington (UW) and worked professionally as a structural engineer before completing a Ph.D. in architectural history in the College of Built Environments at the UW. Sprague’s research investigates the intersection of architecture … Continue reading What I am thinking: historian and structural engineer Tyler Sprague

StoneMatters: QAMT/Analogy

Here we present the recent work QAMT/Analogy – Stone Matters by Elias and Yousef Anastas.We are always proud to showcase the amazing works of the Form Finding Lab alumni such as Yousef. Born as a reaction to a systematic misuse of clad stone in Palestine, Stone matters is an experimentation-based research project examining the potential of including structural stone within the language of contemporary architecture … Continue reading StoneMatters: QAMT/Analogy

What I am thinking: computer scientist and lace artist Veronika Irvine

Veronika Irvine is a postdoctoral fellow in the Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo, Canada. She studied math and computer science and received her Masters degree from the University of Waterloo and her Ph.D. from the University of Victoria. Her research area is the computational generation of textile structures based on the technique of bobbin lace. Sigrid Adriaenssens: What is bobbin … Continue reading What I am thinking: computer scientist and lace artist Veronika Irvine

NETS AND DANCE: Making the invisible visible

Throughout history engineers and artists have been fascinated by making the invisible visible. For example, the visual artist and polymath Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519) wanted to understand and control the forceful flow of water and found great beauty in its eddies and swirls. He recorded the 3D nature of these flows in space and time, made them legible and expressed their visual impact through his … Continue reading NETS AND DANCE: Making the invisible visible

Pier Luigi Nervi in America (part 1) – Hanover

This summer I took a trip to Dartmouth College Campus (Hanover, New Hampshire, USA) to photographically document the artistry in the Leverone Field House (1962) and the Thompson Arena (1975). These are respectively the first and the last structures that the Italian Engineer Pier Luigi Nervi (1891-1979) designed and realized in the United States of America. The Thompson Arena is arguably the last project Nervi … Continue reading Pier Luigi Nervi in America (part 1) – Hanover

Art and Engineering: testing he boundaries of the physical world: allowing large deformations

Structural engineers envision, design, and construct the bridges and long‐span buildings people depend on daily. Traditionally, the structural engineer’s approach has been to control and limit the stress levels, deflections, and natural frequency in structural systems. While the structural engineering discipline rarely challenges this dogma of limitation and control, this is a fundamental question in art. Many artifacts show that testing the boundaries of the … Continue reading Art and Engineering: testing he boundaries of the physical world: allowing large deformations

The thesis: quintessentially Princeton 

“the thesis: quintessentially Princeton” features the thesis-writing experiences of Princeton students and their advisers. From research conducted around the world to discoveries made in the library or the lab, students share their joy in doing original, independent work, while relaying some of their mistakes and tips for the next generation of Princetonians. The advisers then explain their side of the thesis journey—from the steps for writing … Continue reading The thesis: quintessentially Princeton 

So long sweet summer

After a long sweet summer, we head back to school full of fresh ideas, energy and enthusiasm. We have a great semester ahead full of exciting events, awards, interviews, research reports and structural reviews. To lift the tip of the veil, we will bring you an inspiring interview with the internationally renowned sculptor and fiber artist Janet Echelman, life reporting of the main discussions at … Continue reading So long sweet summer