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The language of refinement - Exploring the relationship between Architecture and (Structural) Engineering

Part 1 Dissertation 2002
Andrew Ardill
Queen's University Belfast Belfast UK
This dissertation could equally be labelled the This dissertation could equally be labelled the relationship between art and science or between subjectivity and objectivity.

It explores how strong links between architects and engineers can create buildings of indisputable elegance and beauty, marrying the scientific rationale of the engineer with the aesthetic eye of the architect.

The content explores the following issues -

- Has the separation between architecture and engineering into different disciplines led to less dramatic / expressive buildings?
- How could the generation of an aesthetic language that has an indisputable objective backbone create objective response?
- Have buildings since the Gothic era lost intensity due to a separation of disciplines?
- Does a more thorough knowledge of engineering by an architect produce better buildings both functionally and aesthetically?
- Is the stage at which co-operation between architect and engineer engage in a design critical to the outcome?
- Post Gothic - what similarities and differences are present in attitudes of architecture today as compared to the 'great' Gothic era and what can we learn for the future?
- Is the present system of cooperation between architects and engineers successful?

Andrew Ardill

This is an excellent dissertation, well prepared, researched, presented and arranged. The student postulates the thesis that it is possible, and indeed desirable, to break down some of the largely artificial boundaries between the architect and the engineer. In a passionate but rational discussion, informed by the findings from several detailed interviews, he covers much ground in considerable detail, in which several different viewpoints are successfully synthesised.

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