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Design history

Letters

I have followed with interest the debate about engineers' involvement in bridge design competitions. As I am neither bridge engineer nor architect, I hesitate to offer an opinion.

However, in browsing my bookcase recently, I found a book entitled The Aesthetic Aspect of Civil Engineering Design - A Record of Six Lectures delivered at the ICE.

This was published in 1945, so the debate is not new. Of the six authors, only two were engineers, three were architects and one was an artist.

In his opening remarks to the first lecture, the Chairman, David Anderson, ICE president, explained that the lectures had been arranged because 'there was a need to stimulate within civil engineers and civil engineering students an appreciation of aesthetic considerations in relation to their work'.

Does the proposal that we should now opt out of design competitions mean that, after over 60 years, ICE' s aesthetic credentials have not improved?

Trevor Hodgson (F), Bretton, Wakeeld,

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