What I am thinking: structural designer and poet Jun Sato

Jun Sato is Associate Professor at University of Tokyo / Visiting Professor at Stanford University / Chief Executive Engineer at Jun Sato Structural Engineers Co., Ltd.. He has developed transparent, lightweight and ductile structures with geometries of naturalness through his collaborations with architects such as Kengo Kuma, Riken Yamamoto, Toyo Ito, Sou Fujimoto and Junya Ishigami, and through workshops with students. He worked at Toshihiko … Continue reading What I am thinking: structural designer and poet Jun Sato

TRANSFORMATION AND GEOMETRY IN ANNE TYNG’s WORK

For years the graphic designer Stephanie Specht and I have wanted to collaborate on a project related to the architecture of Louis Kahn (1901-1974). This year, I was invited to a panel discussion on the work and design philosophy of Anne Tyng (1920-2011). Anne was an architect by training and had a deep interest in geometry (and in particular platonic solids). Anne collaborated with Louis … Continue reading TRANSFORMATION AND GEOMETRY IN ANNE TYNG’s WORK

DESIGN EXPERIENCE 5: Advancing the design: drawing as a communication

Architect Michael Graves, a former Princeton faculty member, retells the story of how he started to draw design to pass time at a boring faculty meeting. When he got stuck, a colleague silently drew in a few lines. They passed the drawing back and forth several times. This was a dialogue without words, using instead the language of drawing. Previously, we have seen how we … Continue reading DESIGN EXPERIENCE 5: Advancing the design: drawing as a communication

DESIGN EXPERIENCE 4: Iterative Design Process – A Reflective Conversation

The beauty of design is that there is rarely one correct solution. As we make drawings, we generate several alternatives. From there we revise and eliminate alternatives until we arrive at our final design. The design decisions that we make along the way are countless and ultimately determine the quality of the final design. A good design not only uses constraints but also other parameters, … Continue reading DESIGN EXPERIENCE 4: Iterative Design Process – A Reflective Conversation

Extraordinary Processes: Extraordinary Beds

At Princeton, our students are taking final exams now. In the course that the visual artist Joe Scanlan and I teach, VIS418/CEE418 Extraordinary Processes, students were tasked this semester with designing and building beds that are equally inspired by their creativity and the structural principles of engineering. What you might find interesting is that, for their final exam, the students were required to spend the … Continue reading Extraordinary Processes: Extraordinary Beds

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

The art and engineering of curved folding

Curved crease origami is a special type of origami which folds along curved creases instead of straight ones. Due to the curved creases, the paper bends while folding, resulting in complex and beautiful forms that can be used in engineering applications from cars to novel architectural structures. It is no coincidence that the curved crease origami pioneer, David Huffman ,was also a computer scientist and … Continue reading The art and engineering of curved folding

DESIGN EXPERIENCE 2: drawing in the design process

Drawing connects the hand to the mind.  So it is no wonder that all exemplary designers (whether they are in fashion or in structures) are very skilled at making clear and convincing drawings to inform their own thought process, go into a dialogue with and convince the client. In this post I give you some advice on creating drawings and incorporating them into the design … Continue reading DESIGN EXPERIENCE 2: drawing in the design process