By 2050, 70% of the world’s population will live in cities. Structural engineers envision, design and construct the bridges and long‐span buildings those city dwellers depend on daily. The construction industry is one of most resource‐intensive sectors, and yet our urban infrastructure continues to be built in the massive tradition in which strength is pursued through material mass. In contrast, I have focused my research on structural systems that derive their strength from their curved shape, dictated by the flow of forces. As a result, these structures can be extremely thin, cost‐effective, and have a smaller carbon footprint. My research questions are ‘What is the relationship between form and efficiency in structures?’ and ‘How can algorithms and methodologies transform our construction approach from a massive tradition to a design framework for a lightweight, force‐ modeled built environment that contributes to our quality of life?’ I will demonstrate this approach for the design of footbridges, cupolas, building facades and coastal structures.