The Importance Of Design Engineering

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Design engineering, is the application of engineering principles and technology to building design and construction. In this issue of AD magazine: The New Structuralism the guest editors (Rivka Oxman and Robert Oxman) call for a new model of architectural production in which architects and engineers work together in a higher level of cooperation. Design no longer needs to be controlled by form with structure following behind; structure becomes fundamental to form- finding. This issue calls for engineers to be part of the design conceptual stage and no longer only a fixer used in the last stage of the design process. The Oxman’s publication is an investigation into the current state of relationship between architecture and engineering.

Over the last decade, design engineering has developed collaboration between architects and structural engineers. The approach has developed new models for the design of structures of geometric complexity that challenge traditional methods of structural engineering. As a result, a series of processes have evolved which define a new relationship between the formal models of the architect and the materializing processes of the engineer. Architectural engineering is traditionally identified by the sequence of ‘form, structure and material’ but as seen in the construction of the Sydney Opera House (1957-1973) the shape of the covering roof tiles influenced the design of the structure and the overall form of the roof. This reversed the traditional
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