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List of Mini-Symposia as of 29th February, 2012:

Modern Renaissance Timber Construction

Short description:

Prior to the later stages of 19th century timber was unrivalled in many parts of the world as a preferred material for construction of tall, large and exotic buildings, but for a variety of reasons it was relegated to a secondary role during most of the 20th century even in countries where timber is a common commodity. The mini-symposium will address contemporary and emerging issues related what is literally becoming the Modern Rennaisance of Timber Construction as a construction material. The sessions within the mini-symposium will illuminate transitions in what can be constructed using timber based on concurrent application of new timber-based construction materials and new connection methods; new design strategies and methods; and reframing of building codes and regulatory practices. The recurring theme is that there are solid technical reasons and practical benefits that accrue from using timber as a modern construction material; and that it is those reasons and benefits that are propelling the use of timber in new directions. There undoubtedly is a place in the lexicon of justifying arguments for discussion of the green nature of timber and plaesing aesthetics of buildings and other structures constructed using it. However in a resource constrained word ‘hard headed’ scientifically based architectural and engineering reasoning is more likely than emotive suggestions to influence practice.

Session 1 – Ignition of Renaissance: Transition from prescriptive to performance-based design

Session 2 – New timber-based materials and connection systems

Session 3
– Engineering technicalities modern timber-hybrid building design

Session 4
– Examples of design and construction of renaissance timber structures

Coordinated by:

Ian Smith

University of New Brunswick

Jochen Köhler

Swiss Federal Institute of
Technology ETH

Sylvain Gagnon



On the “Tectonics” in Architecture: Between Aesthetics and Ethics

Short description:

Following the successful experience of the mini-symposium already presented at the ICSA2010 in July 2010, the symposium expects to bring together architects, engineers and mathematicians from all over the world, to give an heterogeneous look on the aspects of the art of building, focusing the attention on the relations among mechanics, mathematics, structural and architectural design. Although not limited to these topics, the content of sessions will emphasise the following themes: theoretical issues, calculus and algorithms in architecture, various approaches to structural complexity. The symposium will also discuss developments concerning the importance of the Vitruvean firmitas, pointing out the risks arising when the structural instances are neglected.

Coordinated by:

Patricia Trovalusci

Dep. Ing. Strut. e
University of Rome
“La Sapienza”
Rome, Italy

Mario Alberto Chiorino

Polytechnic of Turin
Turin, Italy


Structural Glass: Crossing borders

Short description:

Even though Structural Glass currently is often not incorporated in standard structural engineering education programs, the field is developing at high speed and omnipresent in contemporary Architecture. The continuous innovations with Structural Glass are to a large extent driven by Architectural demands, and pushed forward by competent practicing engineers and a vivid research community.

Given their involvement in COST Action TU0905 – “Structural Glass - Novel Design Methods and Next Generation Products” and IABSE WG “Structural Glass”, respectively, the organizers want to bring together a good representation of nowadays projects and research activities which illustrate the growing international network in this domain.



Coordinated by:

 Jan Belis 

 Ghent University
 Ghent, Belgium


Geralt Siebert



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