17th July 2019

MIF event to celebrate the ‘art of engineering’

Thanks to everyone who joined us at The Glasshouse on sunny Festival Square for our Manchester event as part of Manchester International Festival 2019.

It was fantastic to be joined by over 100 of our clients, collaborators and friends for an evening full of art, engineering, catch ups and celebration of the success of this year’s Festival.

For years now, we have been proud to support the Festival both as a corporate supporter but also as engineers, lending our skills, particularly on the structural side of things to venues, installations and performances. For us, the Festival represents so many things that we are about; true collaboration, creativity, innovation, being ingenious and pushing the boundaries. This year we have been involved with 3 productions – Invisible Cities at Mayfield, Parliament of Ghosts at The Whitworth and Tuesday at St Augustine’s Church, Pendlebury.

As part of the evening, Founding Director Julian Broster talked about the ‘art of engineering’ from his perspective, exploring the importance of taking risks and the need to challenge and innovate in designs. We were then lucky enough to be joined by Tom Bloxham MBE, Chair of both MIF and Urban Splash. He talked about the Festival and then gave his thoughts on the art of engineering. He talked about how he believes engineering is fundamental to great architecture, how understanding risk and working with it is crucial, and he prompted significant discussion and twitter activity about whether engineering is actually more important than architecture! Of course, we agree it is! For the final part of the speeches, Founding Director, Stephen O’Malley gave an update on how the Practice has evolved, growing to over 80 people since the MIF 2017 event, and talked about our longstanding relationship with MIF and the importance of working in partnership with them on projects and how challenging and creative they are for our engineers. He also mentioned how we have seen a shift in focus for our projects towards creating real communities and bringing demonstrable social, economic and environmental benefits to the areas where they are based. Glasgow Avenues, Mayfield and Citu’s Climate Innovation District in Leeds are great examples of this.

Finally, throughout the event, artist LeiMaow was quietly painting our Manchester Bee, turning it into a bee that reflects everything Civic Engineers is about. LeiMaow has created a spectacular design, based on suggestions our engineers put forward, using our website animation, our values and our beliefs which include creating a lasting legacy, reusing and repurposing, the importance of listening and learning and building not destroying. Her painting attracted quite a crowd and we’re looking forward to having our very own piece of ‘art’ when our bee is finished and can take pride of place in our Manchester studio. Thanks again to everyone who joined us. You can take a look at all the pictures from the event from MSW Photography here

MIF event to celebrate the ‘art of engineering’