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The Language of Structures

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Abstract

This chapter tells the story behind the origin, rise and sudden disappearance of the engineering School in Italy in the twentieth century.

It was not an academic school as such, rather an actual design school that produced an extraordinary heritage of big structures. It was a golden age: by the mid-1960s Italian structural engineering was recognised as one of the most prestigious in the world. However, just after the economic miracle, the school suddenly ceased to exist, and it has been completely forgotten. Even by historiography. It is true that some of the leading figures are well known: Pier Luigi Nervi was maybe Italy’s most famous designer worldwide and even Riccardo Morandi or Sergio Musmeci enjoyed high popularity. But the school was the result of a more complex adventure undertaken by two generations of scientists, designers, contractors and builders. In the absence of a historical reconstruction, that collective story has become lost in the mists of time.

The SIXXI research (Twentieth Century Structural Engineering: the Italian Contribution), funded by a European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant awarded to Sergio Poretti (1944–2017), was developed with the aim of tracing and telling that story to engineers, architects, mathematicians and everyone.

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Acknowledgment

The author would like to thank the European Research Council for financing the SIXXI research project—ERC Advanced Grant 2011, awarded to Sergio Poretti (1944–2017).

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Correspondence to Tullia Iori .

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Iori, T. (2020). The Language of Structures. In: Emmer, M., Abate, M. (eds) Imagine Math 7. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-42653-8_13

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