An approach to teaching architectural and engineering students utilizing computational mechanics software ForcePAD
He paper discusses how courses in mechanics can be taught to architectural students in such a way that concepts are presented to them in a manner making mechanics an inspiration for the designing process rather than simply imposing limitations on it. In courses of this sort that have been held, emphasis has been placed on the use of software to facilitate an intuitive understanding of physical relationships in the area of mechanics, as well as on transforming such an understanding into design sketches. ForcePAD, a readily comprehensible software package of this sort developed for making schematic 2D sketches and investigating different patterns in the area of mechanics, is presented. Originally, it was developed as a tool for providing a basic introduction to mechanics for students of civil engineering. The package aims at enhancing an understanding of such factors as balance, weight, stability, rest and movement, support forces, stress fields, and deformation. The paper is based on experience with classes taught both at Lund University and at Chalmers University in Gothenburg that have made use of this package (Olsson, 2003). The types of weekly tasks students have been given, as well as how the educational conceptions utilized in these courses have influenced the design of the ForcePad software, are discussed.
- Technology and Engineering