Contact FutureLearn for Support
Skip main navigation
We use cookies to give you a better experience, if that’s ok you can close this message and carry on browsing. For more info read our cookies policy.
We use cookies to give you a better experience. Carry on browsing if you're happy with this, or read our cookies policy for more information.

Skip to 0 minutes and 5 secondsWe are going to start this week

Skip to 0 minutes and 7 secondsby asking and trying to answer three questions: why? what? and how? The answers relate to function, form and behaviour of structures.

Skip to 0 minutes and 17 secondsWe will start with some basics, including Newton’s third law: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. And, look at graphical ways of representing actions and reactions, or forces as we more commonly call them. Then, we will look at form-finding structures that minimize their potential energy. And, another special class of structures that use compression members and tension cables to create elegant super or extraordinary structures. The week will be wrapped up with a discussion on the nature of things and whether engineering is the reverse of nature. Plus, a practical exercise for you to perform in your kitchen. We hope to challenge and educate you. But we also hope that you will have some fun!

Week 1 Introduction

A brief overview of what’s coming this week including a discussion about the purpose, material and form of structures, together with a look how some structures are lazy. We will consider how forces flow through structures and how we can represent forces graphically. Towards the end of the week, we have some activities in which you can participate. We hope to challenge and educate; but we also hope that you will enjoy it.

Share this video:

This video is from the free online course:

Understanding Superstructures

University of Liverpool