Keynote by Kenny Verbeeck

The engineer as interpreter

Klaus Bollinger + Manfred Grohmann founded Bollinger+Grohmann, a Civil and Structural Engineering Office in 1983, with the goal to push the boundaries of Architecture through innovative Structural Design. Today B+G is more than 400 engineers, architects and cross-disciplinary collaborators located across fifteen cities in Europe, Australia, and Asia.

No two projects are identical. However, the discourse on the engineering as part of the architectural design is often. The way we design the structure of a building is a reflexion of societal priorities, and thus in constant evolution. This translation from one project to the next will be illustrated through recent projects.

Bollinger+Grohmann comes from all corners of the Globe. The language of Architecture, Science, Drawing as well as English connects us. We are a diverse team of employees, students and university teachers. As part of our company culture, B+G celebrates team diversity, embraces flat hierarchy and promotes collaborative and close exchange between our offices.

In a flat world, we have grown accustomed to multinational design teams, but tend to overlook the differences in construction culture thus leading to misunderstandings. Information is literally lost in translation. This same translation applies when sharing digital shapes of a project. Each version is an interpretation projecting knowledge from one domain to another. Essential in this projection is the capacity of the author to assess the interpretation by the receiver. This conduit metaphor as coined by Reddy becomes even more dominant when working across cultures to push the boundaries of structural engineering.

Short BIO

Kenny VERBEECK graduated in 2004 from Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Brussels, Belgium) as a Master in Architectural Engineering. He continued his studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, to get a Master of Science in Architecture Studies in Computational Design (2006). During these studies he was teaching assistant in various design studios. Today, Kenny is still involved in teaching, by being a guest lecturer at Belgian universities and as supervisor for research projects.

After joining Ney & Partners in 2006 he specialized in the design of footbridges and complex geometries. In 2017 he joined Bollinger+Grohmann Paris and set up the Brussels office in 2019, where he now leads a team of 20 architectural engineers in projects ranging from bridge reconversions in Antwerp to a football stadium in Club Brugge. In his research he focuses on Informed Design, and the development of tools for Sustainable Design.

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