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Project 1

Form and Function/Expression of Truth and Beauty

This project examines the relationship of form and function in architectural design.  It encourages the awareness of truth, whatever position the designer takes, and promotes the arbitrary aesthetic of “functional” beauty.

The requirements of the project were to create a bridge with a span length of 190' and a height of 10'. The bridge was required to have movable components to allow a 30' x 40' object to pass through. Consequently, the movable components would have to feature ideas that are derived from analogies.


Part 1

Creative Design Process

The creative design process is the first phase of this project. It involves creating a table with nine combinations of prototypes (which are used to select the span) and analogies (which are used to select the movements and functions of common household items and joints). Listing the most apparent solution and the most obscure solution are both very important, because when combining those two solutions, critical design focus is a key factor in where the conceptual prototypes and movement/function analogy intersect. 

The span of the bridge was required to be 190' long, and no piers could be placed between the two abutments of the span. All members of the bridge were required to be no more than 20' long.

The prototypes for the creative design process were a continuous tied arch structure (similar to the Newark Bay Bridge), a cable-stayed structure (similar to the John James Audubon Bridge), and a cantilevered truss structure (similar to the Quebec Bridge). An air pump (which uses a piston/vertical lift mechanism), a pair of binoculars (which uses a hinge mechanism), and a tape measure (which uses a sliding mechanism) were the three tools that laid the groundwork for the analogies. 

Part 2

Preliminary Designs

The two preliminary designs that were chosen, based off the conceptual combinations table, were a continuous tied arch bridge with a vertical lift span and a side-spar cantilever cable stayed bridge with a drawbridge span. Using the analogies of a pulleys (on the first design) and a hinge (on the second design), the following images and animations were compiled.

Part 3

Final Design

Based on the preliminary designs that were presented above, a continuous tied arch span with a vertical lift component was chosen. This combination employs the use of pulleys to lift a section of the bridge up to 31'9" above the bridge's deck. This will allow a 30' x 40' object to pass under that section without damaging or even destroying the bridge's movable components.

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