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Vol. 38 (1997) No. 2 April n. 124


Free will and determinism in the conception of structures - a discussion of the art of the structural engineer

< Table of Contents for Vol. 38 (1997) No. 2 April n. 124
  • Journal Name: Journal of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (J. IASS)
  • ISSN: (Electronic Version) 1996-9015
  • ISSN: (Print Version) 1028-365X
  • Issue: Vol. 38 (1997) No. 2 April n. 124
  • Title: Free will and determinism in the conception of structures - a discussion of the art of the structural engineer
  • Author(s): B. Addis
  • Keywords: conceptual design
Abstract
The paper explores some often-conflicting aspects of the conception of structures - the origination of new structural schemes and the mathematical optimisation characteristic of detail design, divergent and convergent thinking, standard designs and designing from first principles (bespoke designs), and the architect's and engineer's different perceptions of materials, structure and form. These tensions in the engineer's life, which many seek to avoid, are related directly to their perception of themselves and the image others have of engineers and their skills. Such issues lie at the heart of successful marketing of the engineer's skills and the future of the professi- on. Issues discussed include the expression of the engineering aesthetic of materials, the language of structural form and the role of criticism and aesthetics in developing a notion of what constitutes good structural design.

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