Structural Design D-BAUG + MIBS

The goal of the course is to introduce students to Structural Design, which is regarded as a discipline that relates structural behavior, construction technologies and architectural concepts. The course encourages students to understand the relationship between the form of a structure and the forces within it by promoting the development of designed projects.

Learning Goals

After successful completion of this course students will be able to:

1. Understand the role of theories and models for structural design.
2. Use strut-and-tie models based on the Theory of Plasticity to describe the load bearing behavior of structures for different materials.
3. Understand graphic statics and the relationship between the form of a structure and the internal forces within it.
4. Analyze and discuss a given structural design concept.
5. Propose transformations to improve a given design concept.
6. Generate appropriate design concepts and options for a given design task.

Content

The goal of the course is to introduce students to Structural Design, which is understood as a discipline that relates structural behavior, construction technologies and architectural concepts. Hence, the course encourages students to develop an intuitive understanding of the relationship between the form of a structure and the forces within it by promoting the development of designed projects, in which the static and architectural aspects come together. The course is a combination of lectures and exercises on graphic statics, which becomes the main tool to visualize the relationship between form and forces. In the final part of the course, students will be asked to develop a small design project.

Theory
Graphic statics is a graphical method developed by Prof. Karl Culmann and first published in 1864 at ETH Zurich. In this approach to structural analysis and design, geometric construction techniques are used to visualize the relation between the geometry of a structure and the forces acting in and on it, represented by geometrically dependent form and force diagrams.
The course first reviews the main principles of graphic statics through a series of frontal lectures and discusses the relationship to analytical statics. Additionally, the course introduces contemporary methodologies and tools (parametric CAD software) for the interactive application of graphic statics in the form of short workshops. Students will familiarize themselves with the topic by solving exercises and completing simple design tasks.

Design Project
Specific structural design approaches and design methodologies based on graphic statics and references from construction history will be introduced to the students by means of seminars and workshops. By developing a design project, the students will apply these concepts and techniques in order to become proficient with open design tasks (such as the design of a bridge, a large span hall or a tower). At the end of the semester, the students present their projects to a jury of internal and external critics in a final review.

General Information

Registration

Registration at http://www.mystudies.ethz.ch/ is required.

Coordination

Dr. Patrick Ole Ohlbrock
HIB E0, Mail: ohlbrock@arch.ethz.ch

Federico Bertagna
HIB E0, Mail: bertagna@arch.ethz.ch

Davide Tanadini
HIB E, Mail: tanadini@arch.ethz.ch

 

Lectures

Thursday, 9:45 - 11:30

HPT C 103

Zoom Meeting

Exam Type

Graded Semester Performance (3 ECTS)

In order to obtain the 3 ECTS, active participation in the exercise is required, as well as participation in all obligatory dates. The project of the group must be rated at least 4.0. The grading will take into account both the development of the project as well as the final submission.

Learning Material

All the lectures and exercises of the course Structural Design D-BAUG + MIBS will be available on this website.

Additionally, at the top of this page you can find a link to the script of the courses “Structural Design I/II” which is about the basics of graphic statics. The printed version of this script is available at the chair of Structural Design of Prof. Schwartz, at the price of sFr. 55.-.

Further literature references:

  • "Faustformel Tragwerksentwurf" (Philippe Block, Christoph Gengangel, Stefan Peters, DVA Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt 2013, ISBN: 978-3-421-03904-0)
  • "The art of structures, Introduction to the functioning of structures in architecture" (Aurelio Muttoni, EPFL Press, 2011, ISBN-13: 978-0415610292, ISBN-10: 041561029X)
  • "Form and Forces: Designing Efficient, Expressive Structures" (Edward Allen, Waclaw Zalewski, October 2009, ISBN: 978-0-470-17465-4)