By 2050, 70% of the world’s population will live in cities. We envision, design and construct structures that 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 performance 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 core research question is ‘What is the relationship between form and efficiency in structures?’ In my lecture, I will focus on the design, optimization and realisation of structural forms for long-span shells, large-scale raised and submerged flexible net barriers, and adaptive building facades. Some of these systems are inspired by systems that have evolved in biology, art or craft.