The theme of this paper is that structural engineering is an art form as valid as architecture but independent of it. The author discusses three main topics: the distinctive nature of structural art, the main ideas of structural art, and finally, Swiss bridge engineering as an illustration of structural art. The paper relates to the general theme of the conference--the relationship between engineering and science, structural engineering, and architecture.
The paper is easy to read and very interesting, but the reader is left with the impression that the author did not fully develop his ideas on the subject. According to the author, the paper as presented is a summary of his book on structural engineering. So, the reader interested in the topic will find more material in Billington’s 1985 book .
This paper should be of particular interest to educators who want to sensitize their students to the importance of creativity in engineering.