Structural engineer drawing on design

Structural Engineering: What it is and How it Works

Have you ever stopped to marvel at the huge variety of buildings and structures we see all around us every day? Have you ever admired a piece of industrial city art? What goes into ensuring that houses, large art structures and bridges stay upright and in place?

A structural engineer is at the center of the answer to these questions. Keep reading to discover the intricacies involved in doing this type of work and how it is utilized in the realm of public art.

What is a Structural Engineer?

A structural engineer is someone who has studied under the brand of civil engineering and has a deep understanding of the laws of physics, mathematics and design to develop the concepts that go into large structures. They often work alongside construction engineers, surveyors, architects and others to accomplish their vision. Understanding the key aspects of supportive structures and the intense amounts of load they carry is crucial. 

Structural engineers are experts at these key components and possess a large body of knowledge involving the details of a successful construction. This includes knowing the best types of materials to use and the proper shapes, sizes and dimensions that will best carry the load while maintaining structural integrity for many years to come.

Both Creative Designers and Problem-Solvers

To be successful in the field of structural design and engineering, you need to have equal strengths in creativity and problem-solving as the foundation of your learning. It’s essential to take into account the extreme conditions structures may undergo. These variables will play into the materials, shape and dimensions of a project, meaning a structural engineer needs to weigh the environment and other factors in their design.

Structural Engineering and Public Art

Now that you have a better understanding of what structural engineering is and how it works, you can better appreciate its role in developing public art. Encountering a piece of public art outside of a museum can feel like stumbling across a treasure in the middle of a busy downtown area. 

Public art is a breathtaking interruption to a busy commute or hurried walk to your next destination. The best form of public art is one that connects you to the city in which it is located. It tells a story, and it roots you into a better understanding of where you are and the significance of the area, its people, local history, culture and more. 

Structural engineering also uses public art to display work that reflects our contemporary culture. Although one of the main focuses of a piece of public art is its meaning, the use of creative imagination and the components to make it happen are nothing short of impressive. What’s the use of an amazing, creative idea with no viable plan to carry it out through structural engineering? The integrity of the structure and its artistic expression are inventive, bold and need a lot of talent and skill to pull it off. 

The next time you come across a display of public art, consider the many decisions that went into it to make it happen.

EG Structural Supports Better Diversity in the Arts

At EG Structural we have a passion for creating projects that inspire. We create timeless public art projects that embody the spirit of our clients and their community. Whether they’re a corporate entity or a municipality, we see what makes them special and design sculpture pieces that highlight their exceptionalism. 

If your organization is looking for a private commission sculpture piece or if you have questions about being more involved in public art, contact EG Structural today!

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