There is no fee for this symposium, but pre-registration is required.

Click here to pre-register.

Symposium Objectives

This interdisciplinary symposium examines the concepts and practices that inform the design of bridges and freeways and analyzes the policy processes that shape their form. Its purpose is to examine ways to improve the aesthetic quality of these two critical types of transportation infrastructure, and to promote good design as an integral objective of transport planning and investment.

Freeways and bridges are highly dominant public spaces and their design has a significant and lasting impact on the cities and regions they traverse. More is at stake than function and costs. New materials, new modes of transportation and communication, new environmental considerations, and new energy sources are leading to new design vocabularies. Form as well as style and structure are being effected as engineers and architects test the boundaries of engineering techniques and respond to requirements for economic, environmentally sound, and context-sensitive designs. These changes will be tangible in the transportation landscape. Coupled with a growing public awareness of design, they suggest a need for renewed attention to the art and science of design of key transportation infrastructure, and to the development of policies and planning processes through which better design can be achieved.

Symposium Organization

The symposium’s introductory session will examine the historical underpinnings of transportation design using the design history of bridges and freeways to identify critical characteristics of the “ structural art” of these infrastructures. Major issues that inform the debate on bridge and freeway design will be discussed.

Each of the following two sessions will take as its focus a structural type: bridges and highways. Each session will examine factors that influence differences in aesthetic outcomes. They include: ideas of good design, the impact on design of the political and economic context, design codes, the tension between lightness and mass, materials, professional roles, and new trends. While the focus will be on recent and future transportation projects in the United States, session speakers will look comparatively at international examples.

In the concluding session, academics, design and engineering professionals, and policy makers will respond to the previous presentations. They will discuss the state of the art of bridges and freeways and the forces driving design choices, , and will interpret the place of good design in transportation infrastructure. Important opportunities for collaboration between the University and professional and government organizations will be examined, and research agendas will be identified.

An exhibit of bridge and freeway design will accompany the symposium.


Thursday / 9.19.2002 / Wurster Hall, Room 112

7.00p    Jim Eyre (Wilkinson/Eyre)

Architecture Lecture Series:  "Between Nature and Invention"

Friday / 9.20.2002 / Alumni House

9.00a    Elizabeth Deakin (UCTC Director), Julia Trilling (UCTC Symposium Chair)

9.15a    Brent Felker (Deputy Director and Chief Engineer, Caltrans):  Opening Speaker

9.45a    David P. Billington (Princeton University):  Keynote Speaker  "The Challenge to Engineers: Bridges as Art"

Panel One:  The Design of Bridges

10.30a  Gary Black (U.C. Berkeley):  Moderator

10.45a  Jim Eyre (Wilkinson/Eyre):  "More than Structure"

11.15a  Niels Gimsing (Gimsing and Madsen):  "Design Features of the Storebelt Bridge, the Oresund Bridge, the Tsing Lung Bridge and the Stonecutters Bridge"

11.45a  Mark Ketchum (OPAC):  "A Review of Recent Projects Examining the Balance between Traditional and Nontraditional Forms"

12.15p  Discussants:  Donald MacDonald (MacDonald Architects), T.Y. Lin (Lin Tung-Yen China, Inc), Hassan Astaneh-Asl (U.C. Berkeley)

12.45p  Lunch

Panel Two:  Aesthetics of the Freeway

2.00p    Martin Wachs (U.C. Berkeley):  Moderator

2.15p    Cliff Ellis (University of Kansas):  "Professional Conflict and Cooperation in Urban Freeway Design: An Historical Perspective"

2.45p    Allan Jacobs (U.C. Berkeley):  "Where the Freeway Meets the City"

3.15p    Brian Taylor (UCLA):  "The Impact of Finance on Freeway Design"

3.45p    Donal Simpson (HNTB) and Ronald S. DeNadai (Edwards and Kelcy): "A Context Sensitive Design Process for Urban Freeways"

4.15p    Discussants:  Mario Ciampi (Ciampi Associates), Niels Gimsing (Gimsing and Madsen), Joanna Fong, (Sasaki Associates), Nicholas Stamatiadis (University of Kentucky)

4.45p    Roundtable:  David Billington (Princeton University), Bob Buckley (Chief, Division of Engineering Services at Caltrans), Jim Eyre (Wilkinson/Eyre), Niels Gimsing (Gimsing and Marten), Julia Trilling (UCTC): Moderator

5.15p    Reception

Location and Parking

The Symposium will be held at the Alumni House on the University of California at Berkeley Campus.

Click here to get directions to the Berkeley campus.

Click here for Alumni House's location on the Berkeley campus.

Click here for the Faculty Club's location on the Berkeley campus.

Public parking is only available off campus. City lots are located 1--on Bowditch at Bancroft, and 2--on Bancroft and Center, just west of Shattuck.

Any Remaining Questions?

Please direct questions by email to one of the symposium organizers.

Thank you!