In today’s Member Voices article, my co-instructor and visual artist, Joe Scanlan and I discuss the value of haptic learning for civil engineering students; why learning and working with their hands makes them better civil engineers. The American Society of Civil Engineer’s Future World Vision calls for creative and motivated students to be attracted to the civil engineering profession so that they can bring novel … Continue reading Why civil engineering students should make things
Last Saturday (16th of January 2021), I had the great fortune of participating in a fascinating panel discussion about what the next trends are for shell design and construction with the structural and math wizard Chris Williams (Chalmers University) and the architectural engineer Philippe Block (ETHZ). The conversation was a bit provocative but actually also very insightful. If you missed it, you are in luck … Continue reading What is the future for shell design and construction?
How can art inspire engineering systems? We have been working with bobbin lace and textile artists to find out. Our work is exhibited at the 2021 Joint Mathematics Meetings. Interlaced bigons from Lauren Dreier on Vimeo. Inspired by a traditional bobbin lace pattern, ‘torchon ground’, elastic strips are interlaced to create a gradient of out-of-plane behavior. The key structural element is a bigon which consists … Continue reading Lace rod networks at the intersection of engineering and art
The construction of the Florentine duomo by Filippo Brunelleschi has been an engineering marvel for more than 500 years, showcasing ancient techniques that still hold valuable insights for modern engineering. Until now, it has remained a mystery how the master goldsmith and sculptor managed to build the masterpiece that pushes the limits of what is possible to construct even with modern building technologies, and how the masters … Continue reading Double helix of masonry—we uncover the secret of Italian renaissance domes
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
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
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
Our course VIS418/CEE418 Extraordinary Processes in a video Princeton students make their beds from Lewis Center for the Arts on Vimeo. Continue reading Students making their bed at the intersection of art and engineering.
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
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