HS.. thinking Architecture?

Posted in a design education, High School AEC Education, projects, stuff by DS26 on 01.27.2011

If you’re a High School student now, and are not sure but have the suspicion that maybe you would like to be an architect, there are many wonderful programs nationwide to help you explore design before you have to concretely make a decision.

I, myself, am involved in one, offered by Duke University via the Duke TIP program.

This particular program is a 2-week boarding session where we concentrate not only in Architecture, but other building industries and also matters of Sustainability.

This year, 2011, will be my 2nd time participating. 2010 was actually the founding class (picture below) and some of our students have left the class with great passion and inspiration to continue in the path to becoming architects. We also had future engineers and builders.

[ follow the link for Duke TIP Arch here ]


Another great program is the one led by my undergraduate school Director Aron Temkin, now professor and Dean of the School of Architecture and Art at Norwich University. Located at the Fallingwater residence designed by famed american architect Frank Lloyd Wright, this program is a 1-week boarding program that

is an interdisciplinary architecture program for students interested in exploring environmental and design related issues in the context of one of America’s most significant works of architecture

[ for more about Fallingwater HS Residency ]


There are other local non-boarding programs around, like the CAF (Chicago Architecture Foundation) Teens program. Offered during the summer in the City of Chicago.

[ more about CAF Teens in Chicago ]

CAF, in addition, offers a program at Taliesin, studio founded by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Or the summer Architecture program offered by IIT (Illinois Institute of Technolgy), also in Chicago, located in the famous campus with buildings designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe & Rem Koolhaas.

[ more on HS iit summer architecture ]


There are specialized High Schools around the country that are also tracked in Architecture, for those of you that were undoubtedly born for the art.

Like DASH (Design Architecture Senior High) in Miami.

I probably would’ve attempted to get in if I would have known it existed…

Many programs, many places, chartered schools, etc… do your homework.

Google “High School Architecture”.   :)


Steel BM #Fail(ure)

Posted in a design education by DS26 on 08.28.2010

In having began my Master in Engineering at IIT (Illinois Institute of Technology), I find myself wondering :

Why are there some crucial things we don’t learn in Architectural Structures ?

Truth is that the recognition of failing conditions in a structural system has got to be at the top of our abilities, especially when visiting an existing building for rehab.

By that I do not mean that all Architects must be experts… after all that is why we sub-contract Structural Engineers. But, it is important that we are aware.

Can you honestly tell me you recognize a condition? every time?

Since I believe the answer to both questions is likely no, for most people… for my first “Pro Structures (for Architects)” post I will show you what the three major failure conditions are in Structural Steel Beams.

1. Lateral Torsional Buckling

Or LTB, this is the most detrimental, and it will likely quickly lead to complete collapse. It is the one that should be prevented at all cost.

With that being the case, the picture below is only a demonstration of the member’s behavior.

Ultimately, the beam would tilt into an angle, typically from the bottom flange.

Here’s a diagrammatic depiction of the condition :

2. Local Flange Buckling

Local Flange Buckling (LFB). It is a concentrated reaction in an area of either the top or bottom flanges, and it results in a type of lift (vertical buckling).

Here is a picture depicting the condition in an existing structure (at the bottom flange) :

3. Local Web Buckling

Local Web Buckling (LWB) is the least likely to occur. Similarly to LFB, it is a concentrated reaction in an area of the web that results in a type of side lift (a type of horizontal bubbling).

Here is a picture that depicts LWB in a structure :

As the picture above demonstrates, this last seems locally severe. In this case, one actually can clearly see both LFB & LWB.

Note that LFB & LWB both occur when the ratio of size between the web and flanges is too large. To clarify, the web is to thin, or the flanges are.


Next time you (Architect) get a call for an ‘Existing Conditions’ walk through in a steel building, prior to starting a job, you are more equipped (with big words) to include the ‘Failing Conditions’ (if they exist) in your Report.

~ Don’t forget a Disclosure Statement that you have not assessed the structure, rather you have observed and do recommend an inspection.   :)