Meet the IASS 2024 Chairs – Catherine De Wolf

Each week, one of the IASS 2024 Symposium Chairs answers four questions about the upcoming event. This week we spoke to Prof. Dr. Catherine De Wolf.

Can you share any insights into the selection process for speakers and presentations? What can participants look forward to keynote speaker wise?

We invited speakers who were inspiring pioneers in the world of construction and who combined not only Efficiency, Economy and Elegance but also Environment and Ethics in their structural design approach. Some of the speakers were my mentors, teachers and colleagues, some of them I’m looking forward to meeting for the first time. I look up to all of them as they all have always used building materials for what they are good for and inspired architects and engineers globally to design responsibly and beautifully. 

What will be different at this year’s IASS 2024 symposium than in last editions?

A strong emphasis on environment and ethics is crucial for how we view the future of the IASS community for inspiring practice and academia in this creative field. 

What do you look forward to during the symposium?

Learning about cutting-edge environmental and ethical structural design research and finding synergies with construction practitioners and researchers globally, so that we can connect the dots to, together, tackle the biggest challenges our industry is facing today, such as our sectors’ social and environmental impact. I believe creativity is the art of connecting. 

Why is IASS 2024 a great place to meet?

As an inclusive community, it goes beyond great structural design. As a hub for innovation, IASS 2024 unites a diverse community of engineers, architects, designers, and builders. Together, they shape a promising future where technology, art, and societal needs converge. We will exchange the latest knowledge about  historical and contemporary excellence in structural design. It not only celebrates the legacy of influential figures like Heinz Isler but also embraces groundbreaking advancements in digital fabrication and industrialized construction of today. We are not just meeting, we will be redefining the art of structural design through a lens of efficiency, economy, elegance, environmental consciousness, and ethics, together.