Commission 2

Conceptual Design

Conceptual Design is based on an overall understanding of the design processes with emphasis through a holistic approach, which includes not only the technical but also the social, functional and aesthetical aspects. Conceptual Design should already be addressed in an early phase of the design process, in which the broad outlines of function and form are articulated with good understanding of people’s needs. To this purpose, C2 aims to provide a forum for the importance and necessity of design and its processes in engineering. The commission emphasizes the responsibility of the structural engineer for the design as well as for the structure.

Field of Activity
To address the complex character of this commission’s scope, the following three main levels are highlighted:

First, structural philosophy based on a holistic approach does not only serve to carry loads. A Structure is understood as an independent aspect of aesthetics. C2 will answer the following questions: how to develop a structure as a whole idea and what will be the relationship between structure and architectural form. This involves characteristics of creativity in engineering, the design motivation and how designers think and perceive structures. The development of a structural idea is based on or influenced by a role model, which can be found in construction history or in natural forms (biomimetic). In structural engineering, design sustainability entails the proper use of the resources, the clear answer to the social needs and respect for the environment.

Secondly, collaboration highlights the interfaces of engineering with other disciplines such as architecture and art. The interface between artist and engineer is a very interesting topic, and with this collaboration, the task of engineering is “reduced” to the pure essence of engineering: transferring loads. This interdisciplinary interaction is becoming more an d more crucial to social interface.

Lastly, process and tools are essential elements of Conceptual Design. New digital tools give an immense impulse and are changing the way of doing things. This makes re-thinking the design processes necessary and contains all aspects of the actual discussion about the digital flow of working.

Current Task Groups under Commission 2
TG2.1 Construction History for Design
Chair: Nicolas Janberg, Germany

TG2.2 BIM Basics for Digitalization  
Chair: Peter Seitz, Germany

TG2.3 Education
Chair: Ignacio Paya-Zaforteza, Spain

Vice Chair
Core Members


Annette Bögle, Germany
José Romo Martin, Spain
Mike Schlaich, Germany
Marcin Kasiak, Poland
Peter Seitz, Germany
Martin Knight, UK
Andreas Gianoli, Switzerland
Laurent Ney, Belgium
Nicolas Janberg, Germany
Ignacio Paya-Zaforteza, Spain