Structuralism 2.0

Every good design has a good structure

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    By rstroup27
    Sep 28, '11 9:03 AM EST

    Hi there!  My name is Robert Stroup and I'm currently a graduate student at Lehigh University.  The title of my blog - Structuralism 2.0 - is a reference to my own recent history.  To put it short, structural engineering is my second degree (architecture being my first).  But as I've learned here (at Lehigh), there are many overlaps between the two fields that isn't written about enough in the design community at large.  There are architects, such as Santiago Calatrava, who have prided themselves on being structural engineers previously in their life.  And since engineering and architecture have to coexist within professional sectors, there will always be people like me who earn dual degrees in both fields. However, it is only seldom that we, the viewing public, see the science in the art.  What makes the metal bend?  Why does the glass curve gracefully?  What is the underlying structure?  These are questions that belie the language of architecture, which is often written in steel, concrete and wood.  

    And to get at that language - what it means and why it's important - will be my goal in this blog.  It's my firm belief that every good design has a good structure, and having spent my time in the labs and research facilities here in Bethlehem, PA, that belief has only been augmented by empirical evidence.  The many things I learn while here I will relate, and hopefully, by the time I earn my degree, this blog will have turned into a more replete understanding of architecture in terms of structural analysis and design.

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About this Blog

I'm currently earning my masters in structural engineering at Lehigh University, but I hold a bachelors of architecture from the University of Oregon. What I would like to write about has to do with my aforementioned diverse background, i.e., what lessons I've learned in structural engineering that may help me as an architect in the near future.

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