Engineering in the Round

A group of Construction Management and Engineering students from Delft University of Technology visiting Expedition were treated to a rather unusual presentation from three engineers about some of the company’s projects. As part of Think Up’s Engineering Conversations project we are working with engineers to develop new ways for them to tell their story. Rather than the traditional carrousel of uninspiring Power Point slides, three Expedition engineers were given the challenge of describing a number of the company’s key projects using sketches alone. The students sat in the round while the engineers sat a low table in the middle, and drew their way through the projects, drawing their way through the key structural features for each job.

This method has advantages for both the presenter and audience. The process of drawing gives the presenter time. The pace of the presentation is dictated by the speed of drawing and the process of allows the presenter to think through what they are going to say. The audience gets unprecedented access to the engineer’s thought processes and their perception of the world: a perception characterised the understanding of relationships in 3-dimensional space.

By all accounts the presentation was a great success. The engineers, daunted by the prospect of drawing in front of an audience for a whole hour were surprised by just how quickly the session passed and just how engaged the students were throughout. The students delighted to have had such efforts lavished upon them – a presentation quite unlike the rest that they had seen during their week in London.