Using Aesthetic Guidelines in Elegant and Efficient Ways

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Using aesthetic guidelines in elegance and efficient way,

get optimization of exposed structures improved.

  1. Project summery

This project seeks to understand relationship between optimization of exposed structures and aesthetic. During formal education, engineers and architects may be exposed to issues of efficiency in design but they are rarely expected to address the aesthetics of their designs. In the workplace as well, there is very little guidance for engineers and architects wishing to address both aesthetics and efficiency more closely in design. Therefore, research problem is: the relationship of aesthetics and efficiency of exposed structures such as columns and trusses in public buildings has been acutely overlooked. Except for a limited successful project in structural art, we have confronted with lack of aesthetic feature in structures and also limited specific rules are enforced in current design codes about aesthetic features. Some structural artist such as Fazlorkhan and Nervi presume the idea that "a structure that is efficient will automatically be elegant"(Woodruff & Billington, 2007). Khan firmly asserts that "structure is based on a kind of reason expressed mathematical theories, which has its own inherent aesthetics."(Khan, 1981). This Idea is versus the notion that much money must be spent to produce a beautiful structure."(Nan Hu, Feng, & Dai, 2014). This research proposal is to investigate the balance between optimization of exposed structures with its aesthetic and structures beauty. More specifically, the aim of this project is to investigate to develop conceptual plans and visual guidelines for improving the aesthetics and efficiency of exposed structures especially those in public space in interaction with people. This project asks: What are the fundamental factors in structural design that affect its aesthetic, What factors in exposed structure design can lead us to have efficient and elegance design?

  1. Research Objective
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The following research objectives are formulated to achieve the aim of this study:

i. To develop conceptual plans and visual guidelines for improving the aesthetics and efficiency of exposed structures.

ii. To identify what factors in exposed structures especially columns and trusses design, can lead to efficient and elegance design.

iii. To determine how optimization can effect on aesthetic.

iv. To evaluate columns and trusses design for public space in order to have optimize and beautiful structure together.

  1. Hypothesis

There are 2 different assumption about relationship between structure and aesthetic. But extreme bias about elegance of optimized structure or high cost of elegance structure is under challenge.

i. There are distinct relationship between structure and optimization with aesthetic.

ii. The idea that a structure that is efficient will automatically be elegant is not always true.

iii. The notion that much money must be spent to produce a beautiful structure is misconception.

iv. Optimized structures have their inherent aesthetic but this role will not apply to any structure.

  1. Research Questions

This study is dealing with the following research questions:

i. What are the fundamental factors in structural design that affect its aesthetic?

ii. How optimization in exposed structures can affect their aesthetic in order to make structures more elegance to attract more people in public building?

iii. What factors in expose structure design can lead us to have efficient and elegance design?

  1. Research Background

In understanding concept of aesthetic, because of different assignments and education backgrounds, there has been a long discussion between architect and structural engineer (Nan Hu et al., 2014; Sev, 2001). Historically close relationship between professions such as architecture and structural engineering are undeniable. Among the distinguishing characteristics between the two is the issue of aesthetic and efficiency (Allen, 2010; Burke Jr, 1989; Nervi, 1965; Woodruff & Billington, 2007). Since the beginning of human thought, aesthetics have been a subject of philosophical debate. The simple question, "what is beauty?" many answers are given to this question by architects, philosophers, and engineers (Lothian, 1999). The major change occurred, when beauty as inherent in the object, shift to considering it as "in the eyes of the beholder" (Arnett, 1955; N Hu & Dai; Lothian, 1999; Malan & Bredemeyer, 2002; Rodriguez).Santayana stated (Arnett, 1955), that the experience of aesthetic is a clue to the character of the individual having that experience. Santayana also asserts that the "aesthetic element should not finally be abstracted from the practical and moral function of things"(Arnett, 1955). The beauty of efficient structures initiates resonance in the conscience of the viewer (Saliklis, Bauer, & Billington, 2008). Thus, the aesthetic quality of a efficient structural form necessarily arises within the constraints of the engineer’s ethical responsibility to society (D. P. Billington, 1997; Burke & Montoney, 1996).

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While architects may underline aesthetic to varying degrees, engineers have to design efficiently because that is the most important aim of structural design. And the greatest works of structural artists, integrate economy, efficiency, and elegance (Billington, 1983). Since the rise of the modern bridge engineering, however, great aesthetic value of structure has been cited by many structural artists (N Hu & Dai). The engineers began to understand the resistant behavior of structures and the strength of materials. Larger constructions was built due to the new materials and therefore, it became crucial to better understanding of how they performed (Billington, 1984; Schlaich, 2006; Sev, 2001). Thus, structural engineering initiated to have a scientific basis and as a result, split between architecture and structure became wider (Billington, 1984). When Telford’s 1812 began to write an essay on bridges, it makes modern structural artists conscious of the aesthetic ideals that guided their works. The prominent example of a structural art is, perhaps, Brooklyn Bridge in New York and Eiffel Tower in Paris (Billington, 1984; Burke & Montoney, 1996). America became the technological leader and the center of the artistic world, After World War II. Many great structural artists immigrated to the US and had the opportunity to put their idea into practice (Nan Hu et al., 2014). Mies van der rohe, one of the most important architect and structural artist, survived the shock of the transatlantic crossing best and continued his idea to highlight "Less is more", which can be seen in his works in Chicago and Illinois (N Hu & Dai). Furthermore, concept of "Form follows function," also helped to give rise to the "international style" (Lambert, 1993; Menn, 1996). Alongside with international style, some structural artist such as Nervi and Fazlorkhan state the concept that "a structure that is efficient will automatically be elegant".(Nan Hu et al., 2014). Khan asserts that "structure is based on a kind of reason expressed mathematical theories, which has its own inherent aesthetics." (Sabina Khan, 2013). Simplicity of structure means paying attention to structural details, and ensuring that the structure be as efficient as possible. He states that "well detailed and efficient structures possess the natural elegance of slenderness and reason, and have possibly a higher value than the whims of a priori aesthetics imposed by architects who do not know how to work closely with engineers, and who do not have an inner feeling for natural structural forms" (Sabina Khan, 2013). Nervi said that respecting what is structurally rational and economically prudent actually establishes the "correctness" and the "ethics" of building (Nervi, 1965). Architecture has faced countless styles in order to reach desire aesthetic, but the principium behind the structural art search for a cost-effective and performance-efficient design (Billington, 1984; Schlaich, 2006). "The aesthetic expression of a structural form is neither a pure desire to find a shape for decoration nor a subordination of its function; otherwise a structure would be overdesigned without any appearance of structural art" (Schlaich, 2006). Studies have shown how design evolved to achieve an efficient and elegance structure by understanding principles of structural. For example, Othmar Ammann designed Bayonne Bridge which can be considered work of structural art when compared to the similar design used in the Hell Gate Bridge, due to latter was less monumental and more functional (Gauvreau, 2007; Thrall & Billington, 2008). Another example, the structural efficiency of Felix Candela’s Cuernavaca Chapel was achieved due to the understanding structural principle of shell. Candela minimized bending moment in the shell and introduced the basic form of the hyperbolic paraboloid for the design of ribs (Draper, Garlock, & Billington, 2008). This type of structural forms have features of higher efficiency and elegance appearance together. Therefore, elegance structures do not require extreme cost necessarily (S. L. Billington, 1997; Menn, 1996; Woodruff & Billington, 2007). Many examples have shown that within the limits of structural feasibility and efficiency, achieving an aesthetic goal is possible. The history and aesthetics of cable-stayed bridges was discussed (Billington & Nazmy, 1991). Another example was shown by Honigmann and Billington discussed the Sunniberg Bridge, designed by Christian Menn, to show how simple calculations of conceptual design can lead to an initially aesthetically and structurally reasonable bridge design (Honigmann & Billington, 2003). Most recent structural artists valued aesthetic feature even more in their design works. Eduardo Torroja said that "the enjoyment and conscious understanding of aesthetic pleasure will without doubt be much greater if, through knowledge of the rules of harmony, we can enjoy all the refinement sand perfections of the building in question." (Torroja, 1962).

  1. Problem Statement
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Due to the long debate between architects and structural engineers about efficiency and aesthetic, we have faced two misconception about structural design: the idea that "a structure that is efficient will automatically be elegant" (Khan, 1981). This Idea is versus the notion that much money must be spent to produce a beautiful structure."(Nan Hu et al., 2014). For example structural design such as The Alamillo Bridge that are aesthetically innovative, structurally rational to build (Guest, Draper, & Billington, 2012). Yet architects and structural engineers tend to pay relatively little attention to efficiency and aesthetics at the same time for structural design. In the workplace as well, there is very little guidance for engineers and architects wishing to address both aesthetics and efficiency more closely in design. The relationship of aesthetics and efficiency of exposed structures such as columns and trusses in public buildings has been sorely overlooked. Hence, except for a limited successful project in structural art, we have confronted with lack of aesthetic feature in structures and also limited specific rules are enforced in current design codes about aesthetic features. Besides, many efficient structure are not beautiful also many beautiful structure are not efficient either. Therefore, aesthetic guidelines for optimize structure are needed to be done.

  1. Research Gap

There is little specific guideline about aesthetic features of structures, but many researchers proposed general guidelines on improvement of aesthetics. (Leonhardt, 1984) formulated ten rules for bridge design and (Troitsky, 1994) also gave ten requirements for bridge aesthetics. In Leonhardt’s book Bridges, the nine rules of aesthetics have presented. All these principles could be sorted into two groups, to improve the elegance of structures and to improve their harmony with the environment. Sarah Billington's PhD thesis is also about improving standards short and moderate span bridge in aesthetic way (S. L. Billington, 1997). Although rules cannot guarantee the elegance and efficiency of a structure at the same time, at least they can help designers avoid certain kinds of unattractive designs. (Nan Hu et al., 2014). There are very many principles and very many ways to find them out. However, no guidance is given as to how to put them together in one project (D. P. Billington, 1997). There is little aesthetic guideline that just apply to bridge (Burke Jr, 1989). And other type of structures particularly exposed structure such as columns and trusses in public space due to its significant role to attract people to architecture need to be surveyed.

  1. Research Method

The aim of this study is to investigate the balance between optimization in exposed structure (columns and trusses) in public building with its aesthetic and structure beauty. It will explore optimization of exposed structure with software analyze and quantitative method and will examine their success in aesthetic guideline with interviews. This study will utilize the mixed methods sequential explanatory design for this purpose of data collection. The mixed methods sequential explanatory approach mainly consists of two particular stages: quantitative followed by the qualitative phase (Ivankova, Creswell, & Stick, 2006; Tashakkori & Creswell, 2007). C:\Users\pedram\Desktop\2014-11-17_113506.jpg

Figure 1: The Mixed-Methods Sequential Explanatory Design

  1. Reference

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Arnett, W. E. (1955). Santayana and the Sense of Beauty.

Billington, D. P. (1983). The tower and the bridge. Princeton U, 1983.

Billington, D. P. (1984). Building Bridges: Perspectives on Recent Engineering. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 424(1), 309-324.

Billington, D. P. (1997). Robert Maillart: Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Billington, D. P., & Nazmy, A. (1991). History and aesthetics of cable-stayed bridges. Journal of Structural Engineering, 117(10), 3103-3134.

Billington, S. L. (1997). Improving standard bridges through aesthetic guidelines and attractive, efficient concrete substructures. University of Texas at Austin.

Burke Jr, M. P. (1989). Bridge Design and the “Bridge Aesthetics Bibliograph”. Journal of Structural Engineering, 115(4), 883-899.

Burke, M. P., & Montoney, J. (1996). Science, technology, and aesthetics: three aspects of design excellence. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 1549(1), 93-98.

Draper, P., Garlock, M. E., & Billington, D. P. (2008). Finite-element analysis of Félix Candela’s chapel of Lomas de Cuernavaca. Journal of Architectural Engineering, 14(2), 47-52.

Gauvreau, P. (2007). Innovation and aesthetics in bridge engineering. The Canadian Civil Engineer, 23(5), 10-12.

Guest, J. K., Draper, P., & Billington, D. P. (2012). Santiago Calatrava’s Alamillo bridge and the idea of the structural engineer as artist. Journal of Bridge Engineering, 18(10), 936-945.

Honigmann, C., & Billington, D. P. (2003). Conceptual design for the Sunniberg Bridge. Journal of Bridge Engineering, 8(3), 122-130.

Hu, N., & Dai, G. From separate to combine——the ever-changing borderline between architectural art and structural art.

Hu, N., Feng, P., & Dai, G.-L. (2014). Structural art: Past, present and future. Engineering Structures, 79, 407-416.

Ivankova, N. V., Creswell, J. W., & Stick, S. L. (2006). Using mixed-methods sequential explanatory design: From theory to practice. Field Methods, 18(1), 3-20.

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Lambert, S. (1993). Form Follows Function: Design in the 20 Th Century: Victoria & Albert Museum London.

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Menn, C. (1996). The place of aesthetics in bridge design. Structural engineering international, 6(2), 93-95.

Nervi, P. L. (1965). Aesthetics and technology in building: Harvard Univ Pr.

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Saliklis, E. P., Bauer, M., & Billington, D. P. (2008). Simplicity, Scale, and Surprise: Evaluating Structural Form. Journal of Architectural Engineering, 14(1), 25-29.

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Thrall, A. P., & Billington, D. P. (2008). Bayonne Bridge: The Work of Othmar Ammann, Master Builder. Journal of Bridge Engineering, 13(6), 635-643.

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