Regarded as a leading authority in Brazil, Yopanan Rebello has written numerous books on structural engineering during more than 40 years in the field.
In 1992 he opened São Paulo’s YCON Engenharia studio, where he serves as technical director and teaches a variety of engineering and construction courses. Rebello speaks to ArchiExpo about the latest tools and materials in Brazil for constructing safe structures.
Q&A with Yopanan Rebello
ArchiExpo: What are the biggest challenges for structural engineers in Brazil?
Yopanan Rebello: The main challenge here is creativity. Engineering schools teach people how to calculate, and the question of creativity is amiss. There is a certain repetition of the same things with only small changes.
Then there is another barrier with clients. If you come up with a cool idea that’s a little bit different, people are scared that they might not have total control of costs or construction, so a project may not get finished. They have a closed mentality towards innovation.
For example, we proposed to build a “tensegrity” bridge that would have been one of only four structures of its kind in the world—and the first in Brazil—but it didn’t happen. Construction firms often think ambitious ideas are too complicated, so clients change their mind and go back to something more conventional.