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The question: Architects

Some say design of the Millennium Bridge was too influenced by the architect. What sort of civil engineering projects do you think architects can make a contribution to? Or should engineers maintain full claim to the design of civils schemes?

The issue here is surely whether engineers are prepared to shout about and promote the work that they do. Often engineers are far too shy in publicising their projects. They do not need to be.

Architects and engineers both have a role to play in project design.

Andy Walker, 36, communications director, London

The civil engineer should probably lead on a pure structure such as a footbridge, although an aesthetic second opinion would be a good idea.

Ideally, bridges should be designed by engineers with creative talents. However, civil engineering has long since ceased to be a viable career for anyone with any real ability or flair.

Malcolm McKemey, 50, director, West Sussex.

Architects will always have a contribution to make to engineering design until aesthetics and creative design thinking are introduced at degree level and engineers adopt these concepts in their CPD.

Gary Kent, 35, principal engineer, Sheffield

A 100% engineered piece of work may function but appear debatably ugly. A 100% architected piece of work may appear better, but need closing and pulling down. The need for balance between the two is obvious, but depends on the nature of the work.

Simon Done, 35, road engineer, Berkshire

Unfortunately, the French do seem to give too much prominence to the architect. It should simply be a case, in press releases and so on, of making the engineer's name and role more prominent than that of the architect.

Luc Koefman, 30, wind farm civil engineer, Aude, France.

I have worked with architects on a variety of schemes, some that were predominately civils, and generally been pleased with the architect's contribution. Sometimes the architect led the scheme, sometimes the engineer. There is no golden rule for leadership - it's down to vision, drive and management not profession.

Ian Jenkinson, 49, head of technical and amenity services, Newcastle-under-Lyme

For the London Millenium Bridge someone should have had the guts to tell the architect how hideous and unworkable it was and is. On a smaller scale it would certainly do no harm to have an architect look over most bridge schemes at an early stage to give advice.

John Park, civil engineer, Prestwick

High visibility works should look great. It's only realistic to expect a client to use the architect for the image in these situations and this is where they (should) excel. The engineers make it work most of the time, although pushing frontiers in architecture and engineering inevitably leads to hiccups. We always bounce back!

Dudley Swain, 53, performance manager, Exeter

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