Forell Senior Engineer, Mei Kuen Liu, is concluding her first class at the Academy of Art University (AAU) with co-Instructor Architect, Karen YunJin Seong. The ARH 420 Structures: Systems Investigation 16 week Spring Semester 2013 course was specifically designed to expose architects to structural engineering and foster an intuition for meaningful discussions with structural engineers.
The course was designed to be very hands-on. Every week, the 10 students each created their own structural system model to load and test until it failed. Mei advocates this practical learning environment: “Students develop structural understanding and learn a lot when things break. Seeing the students’ progression on a weekly basis has been very rewarding.”
One of her architecture students said he learned more in 5 weeks about structures (by breaking things) than in any of his other engineering-related classes. Mei states, “I enjoy stimulating architecture, which is why I decided to teach future architects about structural engineering. I want to see their trends and help them develop structural intuition. I believe this will foster appreciation and communication between architects and engineers so they understand why we do what we do.”
Mei will be teaching ARH 420 at AAU again in Fall 2013.