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Form and Forces: Designing Efficient, Expressive Structures Hardcover – September 28, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0470174654 ISBN-10: 047017465X Edition: 1st

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Form and Forces: Designing Efficient, Expressive Structures + Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods + The Architect's Studio Companion: Rules of Thumb for Preliminary Design
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 640 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley and Sons; 1st edition (September 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047017465X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470174654
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 11 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #289,373 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

FINDING GOOD FORMS FOR STRUCTURES--A GRAPHICA APPROACH

In Form and Forces, bestselling authors Edward Allen and Waclaw Zalewski offer a fresh, new approach to the study of structures for students and practitioners of architecture and structural engineering. Emphasizing graphics rather than mathematics and rote learning, Form and Forces teaches statics and strength of materials in the context of a set of projects that involve students in the entire process of designing elegant, long-span structures, from concept generation to detailing and planning for construction.

Readers engage in such projects as a hanging roof for a transportation terminal, a concrete shell roof for a basketball arena, a wood truss roof for a summer camp activities building, cantilevered concrete shells to cover a stadium grandstand, and other fascinating, real-world designs. As they pursue these projects, students learn each fundamental structural design technique as it is needed, in the context in which it is useful, making it easy to remember and employ the principles discussed, including:

  • Statics

  • Bending and buckling behavior

  • Finding form and forces for long-span structures

  • Beam and column formulas

  • The choice and layout of framing systems

Supplemented by a companion Web site with step-by-step graphic statics tutorials, interactive learning tools, and a special-purpose graphic statics solver program, Form and Forces allows every architect and engineer to employ the almost magical power of graphical techniques for generating good form.

Form and Forces equips the reader with simple, powerful tools employed by the great structural designers of the past 150 years—from Eiffel, Gaudí, and Maillart, to Schlaich and Calatrava—so that even beginners can design entire structures that are elegant and exciting.

Companion Web site: www.wiley.com/go/formandforces

About the Author

EDWARD ALLEN has taught for more than thirty years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yale University, and the University of Oregon. He is the bestselling author of Fundamentals of Building Construction, Fifth Edition.

WACŁAW ZALEWSKI  is Professor Emeritus of Structural Design at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


More About the Author

Edward Allen has taught for more than thirty years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yale University, and the University of Oregon. He is the bestselling author of Fundamentals of Building Construction, Fifth Edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Ed Saliklis on November 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book is amazing and all structural engineers and architects, students included, should have this on their bookshelves. But more importantly than having it in your library is actually plunging into it and learning from it because if you learn these techniques they will completely transform the way you think about structural form and forces. I have been using this book in my classes, one class is taught to architecture students and the other to structural engineering students. The results have been astounding, the architecture students are empowered by the form finding tool of graphic statics and the engineers are thrilled by the beauty and logic of the force finding process. Both groups of students came up with dozens of elegant and efficient structures by linking the forces to the forms, and that is what I mean by "life changing". I find myself totally enthralled by this method and the power it unleashes. I have a PhD in structural engineering and I am a registered engineer in California and I have never been so excited about a technique as I am with this one. The book is clearly written, down to the level of having figures and text match up on the page so you don't have to flip pages to refer to a figure. Some exercises are straightforward, so much so that I taught them to 6th graders as an outreach exercise. Other sections are deeply connected to higher order theories and merit study from my graduate students. Many references are made to the giants of our profession who have used these techniques to design graceful and efficient structures. Yet the book manages to be all these things in a precise and clear manner. The authors really want you to understand each step thoroughly and they give you the tools needed to really understand important ideas about structural form.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Spencer Anderson on September 22, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When this ebook was put on my kindle the graphs and formula's came out black. As per request of amazon support I redownloaded, and the proble persisted. Also the format doesn't let you konw what page your on compaired to the book, which makes it difficult when the professor says on page... You might want to stick with the book over the ebook.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dan Bergevin VINE VOICE on July 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ed's review says it all but I thought I'd chime in here. I have spent a considerable amount of time and money researching books that would provide a comprehensive, creative, and intuitive education in structural engineering. Sadly most of the books I found were dry and virtually impossible to creatively apply, or very creative but devoid of any science. I was pretty much set on reading a handful of dry books (with my eyelids taped open if necessary) and supplementing it with a handful of creative books (with constant reference to the dry books) and hope that I could start seeing and thinking properly. One chapter into this book, plus a perusal of the other chapters, was all it took to clear my shelf and focus my efforts on learning from this book and its online companion materials. It has it all, and it explains it all in a way us non-textbook people can both understand and get excited about studying. Yeah that's right - this book will make you WANT to learn structural engineering.

This book is for enterprising product designers, architects, or others interested in knowing how forces interact with structures and how creative thought can minimize effort and material while creating a structure that can withstand the forces applied to it. It is long and thorough so do not expect a light treatment. Buy with confidence and use for life.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book won't make you an architect or a structural engineer, but it opens a lot of doors. Good teaching approaches abstractions with specific problems, visual hands-on models of the intangibles involved, and clearly explained pragmatic solutions. From the first chapter--designing simple suspension bridges and calculating the loads with a visual representation called a force polygon--Allen takes you through a variety of forms, explaining simply and clearly the practical considerations underlying choice of materials and connectors as well the structures within which they are used. An architect's choice of scissors trusses to support the roof of a church is analyzed and found wanting, and replaced with (of all things) a simpler, less costly, and more effective tension structure using steel chain. The magnificent bubble-like dome over the courtyard of the British Museum is explained in terms of the structural efficiency which makes it so strong, though so light.
No number crunching needed--by the end of the book, you should be able to design pretty good commonsense structures by doodling on a napkin.
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