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THE BEDFORD SEMINAR The disciplines of architecture and engineering at Rensselaer come together in an ideal joint venture known as the Bedford Seminar. This interdisciplinary studio course allows students from both disciplines to work together exploring the uses of non- traditional structures andor materials in contemporary applications. The goal of the course is not to teach architects to be engineers but rather to expose them to engineering concepts and alert them to ways in which engineers can inform and shape their designs. In turn engineers get a taste for what its like to be an industry consultant working to assess the viability of proposed architectural designs.In short the aim is to bridge the divideand to give students the skills to continue to do that as they move ahead with their careers. AT WORK Engineering Ideas JESSE EMBLEY 11 Architects and engineers often work on structures together but they dont always see eye to eye. Engineers are a little more practical and numbers oriented while architects are a little more creative and tend to push the limit of what can be built said Jesse Embley 11 who went through the Bedford Seminar as an undergraduate. For their project Embley and his team designed a performing arts center that called for a 40-meter cantilever a system the engineers initially opposed. By working together the group found a structural solution that met safety requirements and preserved the cantilever. Being able to understand the language and point of view of the engineer was empowering. It made me a better architect Embley said. Today Embley is a senior associate at the innovative architectural firm SHoP which has a construction department under its roof developing designs and manufacturing elements of the structure. Embley works directly with the engineers. We carry out design and we have in-house engineers so we can efficiently move through the construction process Embley said. Its been an amazing experience and I owe it to the Bedford Seminar. Being able to understand the language and point of view of the engineer was empowering it made me a better architect. art science 11