^ Education of Future Builders Through Footbridge Design to Construction Projects | Structurae
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Education of Future Builders Through Footbridge Design to Construction Projects


Medium: Tagungsbeitrag
Sprache(n): Englisch
Tagung: Footbridge 2017 Berlin - Tell A Story, 6-8.9.2017, Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin)
Veröffentlicht in:
Jahr: 2017
DOI: 10.24904/footbridge2017.09393

Blending structural, site, functional, and aesthetic challenges, footbridge projects can provide great training grounds to educate future builders. At the early design stage, the span requirement and program simplicity (letting pedestrians cross from A to B) encourage joint consideration of engineering, architectural and artistic issues, from structural form to integration with the landscape. While much can be explored via case studies, design drawings, scale models, and structural simulation exercises, we believe it is especially fruitful to let students materialize footbridge designs at 1:1 scale. This can help students gain early practical experience with structural materials, construction processes, project management, and user responses. In this paper, we describe three projects of this kind directed at undergraduate students of architecture and civil engineering. Although all three projects concern small footbridges of free spans between 5 and 20 m, the instructional approach was different and ranged from autonomous student exploration to sustained guidance by practicing designers and builders. The corresponding completed prototypes range from ephemeral bridges unsuitable for public access to a fully functional bridge intended for long term public use. When aiming for safe and serviceable student-authored designs, a balance must be found between expert guidance and student autonomy. Both ingredients seem needed to maximize student learning outcomes and the sense of achievement gained from such projects.


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