Faculty Publication: a+u December issue Engineering Art, guest edited by Guy Nordenson


Professor Guy Nordenson guest edits a+u 2022:12, Engineering Art


To view or purchase this issue, visit a+u Magazine here.

Essay: Artist < > Engineer by Guy Nordenson




a+u’s December issue features collaborations between artists and engineers. Liberated from conventional architectural constraints such as programs and building regulations, such collaborations provide the potentiality of new discoveries in structure, form, and materiality. Twenty such works, diverse in scale and materiality, are presented in this issue, ranging from Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s 60-year-old project plans, L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, which was realized using the latest technological ingenuity, to Richard Serra’s tallest sculpture and Donald Judd’s visionary concrete shell structure. Many of the projects presented here, such as monumental sculptures by Pablo Picasso in steel and concrete and Janet Echelman’s lightweight net installations, offer insightful commentaries on the surrounding buildings and define their urban environments as part of an ensemble. In this framework, engineering also emerges as an artistic and humanistic discipline sharing an aesthetic pursuit. Dialogues with artists, conveyed through sketches and reflections, attest to the parallel trajectories of engineering and art. These productive relationships, often personal, tap into the creativity of, and interpretation by each engineer that goes beyond execution, “shaping a process that modifies the project itself,” as described by guest editor Guy Nordenson. Detailed drawings and photographs of fabrications and installations are highlighted, alongside 8 essays by engineers, artists, and critics, to reveal how intuition and rationality are harmonized and superimposed. (a+u)



English + Japanese / 168 Pages / 219 x 292 mm / 600 g


Paper Edition

Amazon US


Digital Edition





Essay: Artist Engineer

Guy Nordenson

L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped

Christo and Jeanne-Claude / Mike Schlaich

Essay: L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped – The Structure

Mike Schlaich and Anne Burghartz

The London Mastaba / The Mastaba

Christo and Jeanne-Claude / Mike Schlaich

Essay: Feasibility Study for The Mastaba

Yoshiyuki Hiraiwa

Everywhere The Edges (ETE)

Rebecca Lazier, Janet Echelman / Sigrid Adriaenssens, Bill Baker

Dream Catcher

Janet Echelman / Mark Sarkisian (SOM)

Essay: Creative Tension: How a Choreographer and an Engineer Innovate Together

Sigrid Adriaenssens

Essay: Creative Construction: How Artists and Engineers Collaborate

Mark Sarkisian, Bill Baker, and Alessandro Beghini

Benjamin Franklin Memorial

Isamu Noguchi / Paul Weidlinger

Horace E. Dodge Fountain

Isamu Noguchi and Shoji Sadao / Paul Weidlinger, Matthys Levy

Creature from Iddefjord

Martin Puryear / Eker Design

Brick Sculpture for Storm King Art Center

Martin Puryear / Rebecca Buntrock (Silman), John Ochsendorf

Essay: Engineering of a Brick Sculpture

John Ochsendorf

Essay: Urban Landscapes: Zones of Destruction, Upturned Beams, Wetlands, and Façades

Walter Hood


Richard Serra / Leslie Robertson

Chicago Picasso

Pablo Picasso / Fazlur Khan and Joseph Colaco (SOM)

Bust of Sylvette

Pablo Picasso, Carl Nesjär / Weiskopf & Pickworth

Free Ride Home / Osaka

Kenneth Snelson

Day’s End

David Hammons / Guy Nordenson and Gina Morrow

Concrete Buildings

Donald Judd / Robert Kirk

Reversible Destiny Lofts – Mitaka (In Memory of Helen Keller)

ARAKAWA and Madeline Gins / Yasui Architects and Engineers, Inc.

Gravity is a Force to be Reckoned With

Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle / Bill Baker (SOM)

Lucerne Festival Ark Nova

Anish Kapoor, Arata Isozaki / Taiyo Kogyo

PSAD Synthetic Desert III

Doug Wheeler

Essay: At Hearing’s Edge: Artist Doug Wheeler Achieves a Semi-Anechoic Immersive Artwork, Synthetic Desert, with Arup’s SoundLab

Walker Downey and Caroline A. Jones


Adam Weinberg