I have been working over the summer with a group of students on an entry to this competition run by design consultancy AECOM. The brief for the competition was very well conceived and deliberately intended to bring to together multi-disciplinary groups of architects, engineers, planners and others. The team from Manchester consisted of two engineers, an architect and a planning student, working with academics from each School. Although unfortunately the entry didn’t make the final in New York, it was selected for a regional competition – we will see!
Whatever the outcome of the competition, developing links between all those who work in the built environment in universities is very welcome. Civil and structural engineers tend to get “stuck” in departments where interaction with other engineers is easy but interaction with architects is difficult. This may be simply because they are in different buildings but commonly there are bureaucratic barriers, such as being in different faculties, too.