Show Summary Details

p. 192. Does form follow function?locked

  • David Blockley

Abstract

In c.15 bc, the Roman Vitruvius stated that a good building should satisfy three requirements: durability, utility, and beauty. ‘Does form follow function?’ examines utility and beauty. It explains that structures are naturally lazy because they contain minimum potential energy. Each piece of structure, however small or large, will move, but not freely as the neighbouring pieces will get in the way. When this happens internal forces are created as the pieces bump up against each other. Force pathways are degrees of freedom and the structure has to be strong enough to resist these internal forces along these pathways. Form-finding structures are exciting and innovative examples of the fusion of engineering and architecture.

Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.