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

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

NETS AND DANCE: IN*TENSION

The Barry Onouye studio at the University of Washington (UW) highlights the intersection of architecture and structural design by inviting an outside structural designer to co-teach a studio + seminar. With the central theme of performance, this year’s studio explored tension-based structures, through tensioned and draped nets: we studied how nets can be imagined and built for visual and choreographic expression and this project won … Continue reading NETS AND DANCE: IN*TENSION

DESIGN EXPERIENCE 1: the role of constraints in the design process

Before joining academia, I worked in two (then) small and creative engineering design consultancies (Jane Wernick Associates, London, UK and Ney and Partners, Brussels, Belgium).  I had the good fortune of designing and building a number of awe-inspiring building and bridges.  You will find my portfolio with some works described in some detail here. In this series, I will walk you through a number of … Continue reading DESIGN EXPERIENCE 1: the role of constraints in the design process

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