David P. Billington, Gordon Y. S. Wu Professor of
Engineering at Princeton University, originated the concept of “The
Art of Structural Design.” He is an eminent authority on bridge
design, combining in his scholarship the worlds of art and engineering.
During his tenure at Princeton he has become a lecturer of legend, teaching
large-scale structural analysis and at the same time extolling the aesthetic
and social values intrinsic to beneficial technology. He has written
extensively about each of the engineers included in the exhibition and
during nearly every year since 1970 he has spent some of his time conducting
research in Switzerland and often at the Eidgenössische
Technische Hochschule (Federal Institute of Technology) in Zurich.
He not only teaches about structure; he also draws connections between
how we think and what we build. Professor Billington has organized several
previous exhibitions at the museum. “The Art of Structural Design”
is both a celebration of the Swiss engineers featured in the project
and a salute to Professor Billington’s forty-five year teaching
career at Princeton and his commitment to integrating visual education
into the training of engineers and introducing engineering to students
of all disciplines.
© 2003 The Princeton
University Art Museum