Don Friedman

Entry Level

I mentioned a few days ago that railroad stations were among the first buildings in the US to need the services of structural engineers in design. The other group consisted of gyms and other large indoor spaces. Wood trusses were the traditional method of creating long-span roofs, but not compatible with late-1800s new ideas about …

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Against Stereotype

I highly recommend reading “When The Bronx Was A Forest: Stroll Through The Centuries” by Michael Kimmelman. It’s a great discussion of the way the human landscape overlies the natural one; it’s a nice refutation of ridiculous stereotypes about the Bronx. The picture above is the Bronx River, probably where is passes through the Botanical Garden …

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Hybrids or Kludges?

The line between a clever hybrid design solution and a Rube-Goldbergesque kludge isn’t thin: it’s non-existent. What looks like a clever mix of design elements at one time or for one purpose may look like a mess at another time or when the goals change. The question about any design, therefore, is whether it made …

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At The Smallest Scale

Engineers in general spend a lot of time modeling and organizing reality in design. Looking only at structural engineers, a large difference between those who design new buildings and those of us who work with existing buildings is the starting point of the models. New-building analysis and design typically starts with an architectural concept, and …

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