ETH Zürich  |  DARCH  |  ITA  |  Structural Design 

Chair of Structural Design - Prof. Dr. Joseph Schwartz

The term “Structural Design” denotes the programmatic idea of a reconciliation between the disciplines of engineering and architecture through the reciprocal integration of load-bearing structure and architectural design concept. One of the central elements in this approach is represented by graphic statics, a vector-based geometric representation of the flow of forces within building structures as initially formalised by the ETH professor Karl Culmann (1821–1881). This view of structural systems encourages a unified understanding of the interplay of form and load-bearing capacity – that is, an understanding of the formative effect of the active inner forces in the building structure and the targeted control of these forces.

Given this particular perspective on structures, the research group of the Chair of Structural Design places specific emphasis on the investigation of all those aspects related to the design of buildings′ structure systems. In particular, research is developed in three main areas: computational graphic statics and its potential for the design and analysis of three dimensional structure systems; the interaction between form, forces and material systems through the development of novel construction technologies; the exploration of the engineering and construction history, aiming at a better understanding of the ways of thinking inherent to these disciplines and the potential for cross- disciplinary interaction.

Latest News

"Strong Structures" Lecture Series
Ting Cao and Shuaizhong Wang will host an international online lecture series titled "Strong Structures" in collaboration with Position. In order to present different structural thinking, five chapters and ten lectures by ten international scholars will be presented online from 05.11 - 05.12. Further info is available HERE.

Lectures at IASS Symposium 2021
Federico Bertagna, Giulia Boller, Lukas Ingold, Patrick Ole Ohlbrock, and Prof. Joseph Schwartz will present their current research on computational structural design and construction history within the IASS Symposium 2021. The event will take place online from 23.08.2021 to 27.08.2021. More information can be found HERE.

Special issue "Strong Structures" in the Journal "The Architect"
A special issue, “Concepts, Methods and Practices - Reflections on “Strong Structures” in Architectural Design”, was published in the Journal The Architect in issue No.3, June, 2021. The issue was co-edited by Ting Cao and Shuaizhong Wang, with 4 research papers from the colleagues of the Chair and 3 interviews of architects and structural engineers. Further info available HERE.

Workshop at DigitalFUTURES 2021
From 27.06.2021 to 03.07.2021 Ole Ohlbrock and Federico Bertagna together with Pierluigi D'Acunto (TUM), Yuchi Shen (SouthEast Univeristy), Jean-Philippe Jasienski (UCLouvain), and Giulio Piacentino (McNeel) will give a workshop entitled "Bio-inspired Structural Design with Vector-based Graphic Statics" within the DigitalFUTURES 2021 Workshops series. More information can be found HERE.

Workshop at AAG Conference 2021
On 26.04.2021 and 27.04.2021 Ole Ohlbrock and Federico Bertagna together with Pierluigi D'Acunto (TUM), Catherine Rankine (ARUP London), Vincenzo Reale (ARUP London) and Vahid Moosavi (Swiss Re) will give a workshop on STRUCTURAL FORM-FINDING THROUGH MACHINE LEARNING within the AAG Conference 2021. More information can be found HERE.

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last modified 13.11.2021