Conceptual Design for Rebel Engineers

Concpetual design for radical engineers
Changed priorities ahead – we need rebel engineers to imagine a radically different future.

I am an engineer. Engineers take decisions about risk all the time by combining an assessment of likelihood of an event happening and an assessment of the consequences. The IPCC report makes clear that unless we limit global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels then the likelihood of climate breakdown is very high and the consequences of climate breakdown are very severe – possibly existential.

We therefore need to act, by taking significant, coordinated, cross-party and effective action quickly.

But what can I do?

Continue reading “Conceptual Design for Rebel Engineers”

Construction training design – efficient facades

Sketch showing how participants on a construction training course about facades would work on a full-scale mock up of a section of facade. Sketch by Ben Godber. Constructivist is developing these ideas for Constructionarium
This week we have been working with the Constructionarium Ltd. team to create proposals for a new construction training CPD course all about designing and installing high-performing building facades. The course targets architects, M&E engineers, structural engineers, project managers, quantity surveyors and procurement managers.

Aims for this construction training course

Designing building facades that achieve high performance is a challenge. We measure performance against a whole range of factors. These factors include air-tightness, water-tightness, acoustic insulation, thermal insulation, fire protection and embodied energy.
But performance of the facade doesn’t just depend on the design. It also depends on how well the facade is installed. The order in which we assemble the elements  can have a big impact on whether the facade works as intended. If we poorly sequence the activities on site, parts of the facade can get damaged. This damage can reduce performance.
Therefore, designers need to consider practacable construction during the design process. And design teams need to be able to clearly communicate design information to the construction teams so they can avoid damaging the facades during construction.

What’s inside

In this intensive, hands-on training course, participants will design, install and test their own full-scale facade elements. Teams will work under realistic site conditions and experience the practicalities of facade installation. The course will mix classroom-based design workshops with on-site construction activities.
The idea is to deliver the course over 3-4 days spread across a month. We will create online learning resources that will give participants the opportunity to prepare and collaborate remotely.
My thanks to Ben Godber (Godber & Co) who created these early construction sequence sketches.  My thanks also to Alexie Sommer (Think Sketch Design) for her work producing the proposal.
We will provide more information in this news when we can confirm details of the course.

Further reading

Conceptual Design at Plymouth University

Oliver Broadbent stands next to a van that has the caption on it Creativty with Plymouth Univesity. Oliver is pointing at the word creativity. He was invited to the university to talk about teaching conceptual design

Last week  Dr Boksun Kim  Lecturer in structural engineering at Plymouth Univesity invited me to the engineering department at Plymouth University to talk about creativity with staff and students. Boksun had attended the two-day Advanced Conceptual Design course I run at the Institution of Structural Engineers. As a result of going to that couse she asked if I could come down to share some of my thinking with the department. I was happy to be asked!

A recipe for cooking ideas

In the morning I gave a 45-minute talk on conceptual design to a group of third-year students. In this short time I gave them a quick run through my process for having ideas. After this run through I asked the students to create their own recipe for creative thinking. The idea was to create a series of steps that they can ‘cook’   from next time they are set a design project. Continue reading “Conceptual Design at Plymouth University”