Bringing together historic and contemporary case studies, our chapter discusses the influence of form finding, optimization and digital fabrication techniques on the development of novel bridge typologies. First, we discuss the engineering and societal framework within which these methods are introduced and present a succinct overview of recent computational advances in the domain. Second, we focus on design case studies of prominent bridges that highlight the evolution in structural typologies that these design tools have facilitated. We distinguish two series. The first series are form found bridges, characterized by their three-dimensional composition of linear elements. The second series of optimized typologies explores the potential of surface elements, facilitated through digital fabrication techniques. Finally, we emphasize the role of the bridge designer and suggest how these tools can aid in the discovery of novel efficient bridge typologies.
S. Adriaenssens*ᵻ and A. Boegle, ‘Digital design and fabrication techniques facilitate novel bridge typologies’, in Innovative Bridge Design Handbook: Design, Construction and Maintenance’, 1st ed., A. Pipinato, Ed. Chennai: Elsevier, 2015.