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Pier Luigi Nervi (1891-1979) In a survey within the office, Nervi won the vote as the 'engineer we would all like to live up to'; he beat the late Peter Rice by just one vote, followed in third place by Cecil Balmond.

physicists are working on the concept of 'made to order' material which no doubt will affect form. But there is nothing worse than linking innovation and design simply to new materials.

Old materials have benefited too and, if anything, are going through a new childhood, as production techniques are improved and transferred from other industries.The biggest step forward is our ability to understand materials and interfaces better which allows us to go through several cycles of design with speed to optimise the structure and use of material.

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