About this class      


Perspectives on the Evolution of Structures is a study of the history of structural design to demonstrate to students the discipline of structural art and to give them the tools necessary to evaluate structures as works of structural art. For more detailed information see the learning objectives.


The course was developed in 2003 at Johns Hopkins University by Professors Sanjay Arwade and Ben Schafer and is motivated in no small part by Professor David Billington's course at Princeton University: Structures and the Urban Environment. From 2009 forward Professor Arwade has begun teaching the course at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst. From 2010 forward Professor Steve Buonopane has begun teaching the course at Bucknell University. Professor Ben Schafer and Dr. Rachel Sangree continue to collaborate on teaching the course at Johns Hopkins.

JHU: The course currently enrolls students from across the engineering and arts& sciences,  about half of the students are engineers, and the other half is comprised of arts and sciences majors, and cross-enrolled students from the Maryland Institute College of Art. A key component of the course is the structural studies. Online structural studies were made possible from a Technology Fellowship grant from the CER and the Dept. of Civil Engineering. The Dept. of Civil Engineering also supported digitization of the Billington slide library. The CER also supported creation of the Engineer's Guide to Baltimore.


UMass: This course was taught for the first time at UMass in the spring of 2009. Students enroll in the class from from the colleges of Engineering, Humanities and Fine Arts, Natural Resources and the Environment, Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Commonwealth College. The initial (2009) offering of the course was supported by a Lilly Teaching Fellowship awarded to Prof. Arwade. The course is offered every other year and is unique for being an engineering class that satisfies a university general education requirement.