Full Session without Abstracts
Conceptual design skills resonate with the SEI vision initiative to promote the structural engineer as leader and innovator, and they are critical qualifications to full Chartered Membership of IStructE. Engineers must master the arts of creative problem solving and critical thinking in order to develop truly innovative new ideas, and they must be able to clearly communicate their vision in order to see it realized. This session will give attendees an inside look at the concepts behind some of the world's most innovative structures, followed by a lively discussion between the audience and distinguished panelists moderators, David J. Odeh and Ian Firth, followed by case study presentations from featured panelists who have practiced around the world:
• Tanya de Hoog, a principal at Thornton Tomasetti will discuss some recent innovative examples of structural engineering including Wimbledon’s new moving Roof for No.1 Court, The Vessel, The Shed and Kingdom Jeddah Tower. She will then discuss how structural engineering can play a part in empowering people in every part of our communities by combining technical skills and technology with empathy.
• Paul Kassabian will present the Hyperthin Bench. Combining the oldest structural material with one of the newest in a way that achieved a unique form. Paul will show the initial sketches that drove the engineering design concept, the interplay between artist, engineer, and fabricator to and the end digitally fabricated result. Paul will also discuss “The Single Span”: A Structures Design Class on conceptual thinking where over 30 single-span bridges were designed, built, and tested. Paul’s presentation will focus on the positive and open attitude needed in conceptual design.
• Finally, Jon Magnusson will discuss the Amazon Spheres project: three intersecting glass-and-steel spheres enclosing five freestanding floors, totaling 65,000 ft² and functioning as the centerpiece and gathering spot for Amazon's new, 3.5 million-ft² urban corporate headquarters in Downtown Seattle. The first-of-their-kind spheres are constructed from organically shaped steel sections and are packed with a plant collection featuring more than 40,000 individual plants from more than 50 different countries—a collection worthy of a top-tier conservatory. The Spheres provide a unique workspace intended to inspire creativity in Amazon’s employees and feature treehouse meeting rooms, waterfalls, paludarium, and a four-story living wall. MKA worked closely with the architect, contractor, detailer, and fabricator through all phases of design, fabrication, and erection of this complicated project. By integrating fabrication and erection constraints into the design from during earlier stages, the project team was able to execute the architect’s vision within the owner’s schedule requirements and budget.