‘The International fib Symposium on the Conceptual Design of Structures’ hosted in Madrid, Spain

September 28, 2019

Organised in Madrid, Spain by the International Federation for Structural Concrete (fib) ‘The International fib Symposium on the Conceptual Design of Structures’ took place from Thursday, September 26th to Saturday, September 28th 2019.

The fib is an association created in the 1950’s by eminent engineers (such as Eduardo Torroja Miret, Eugène Freyssinet and Franco Levi) that aims to share ideas that promote the use of structural concrete. Throughout its history, this association has maintained the mission of promoting, communicating and teaching the value of creativity in engineering. The symposium was organised by both fib and the Spanish Association of Structural Engineering (ACHE).

The ‘International fib Symposium on the Conceptual Design of Structures’ is a one-of-a-kind event that specifically addresses creative designers working at all levels of experience. The event took place at the Torroja Institute in Madrid, Spain, an institute that brings together a unique blend of civil engineering, architecture and the built testimony of Eduardo Torroja’s creativity and teaching.

Four sessions punctuated the symposium, each corresponding to a stage in the conceptual design process: ‘Inspiration’ (led by Mike Schlaich from Schlaich Bergermann Partner and the Technical University of Berlin,  Germany), ‘Data Collection’ ( led by Carlo Ratti, from the MIT Senseable City Lab, Cambridge, USA), ‘Creativity’ (led by Hernan Kraviez, Head of the Architecture, Design and Technology Units at the Norman Foster Foundation) and ‘Materialisation’ (led by Achim Menges from the University of Stuttgart, Germany.). Each session was filled with a keynote lecture, presentations of selected papers, an open debate with the audience and a series of hands-on workshops leveraging state-of-the-art tools and methods. Each keynote speaker gave a presentation, followed by a Q&A session with the public.