Architecture, Arts and Archaeology

Graduate student works with a structural model

Above: Student building a scale model of the scaffolding of one of Felix Candela's Shells


In both engineering and the arts, we create something new, and what we create depends on the questions we ask and the ways in which we pursue them.  Engineers push the boundaries using theory, computation and experimentation. Artists push the boundaries using provocation, challenge, reframing, and revelation. Together they find new ways to improve our world and the human condition.

Faculty in this area investigate, innovate and create where the two ways of thinking and doing come together. With our strong ties to architecture and the humanities, and being an engineering department in a world-class liberal arts university, we are uniquely positioned to balance practical engineering considerations with an aesthetic sensitivity to structural art and design. Our work in this area includes engineering design using form-finding and structural optimization, study of the efficiency, economics and aesthetics of structures as art, and preservation of historic structures using advanced technologies, big data, and novel analytical tools.