Algorithms that design structures better than engineers – Jordan Burgess.

You are watching an optimisation algorithm come up with the best design completely automatically. The outcome is greatest stiffness shape possible for a given amount of material. And amazingly it’s a nuanced truss that isn’t far removed from the look of most motorway bridges. That’s pretty reassuring, actually.

The engineeringy name for this process is ‘topology optimisation’ – essentially making the best use of shape for structures. It’s been the aim of structural engineers since their existence and evolutionary algorithms are a modern development to help this.