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Part 1: 3 designers, 3 continents, much in common

To celebrate the year of the designer, we talked to professionals located in three corners of the world – Denmark, Australia, and the USA.

We wanted to know what makes them tick. How they ended up in structural design and what inspires them? What makes them get out of bed every day? What are their goals? Even though the continents and business environments vary, there were many common denominators. See if you can spot them.


Riccardo Pedroni: Enabler of the Architect’s Vision

Riccardo Pedroni is a Senior Engineer at Ramboll High Rise, Copenhagen. When not solving structural puzzles or playing football, he travels to admire new architecture and to experience new cuisine.

“For me, inspiration comes from being involved in projects that you are genuinely excited about. This is something that gets you out of bed every day.”

“My dad is a quantity surveyor, so I’ve always been surrounded by drawings and blueprints. In my family, we share a passion for architecture and much of my childhood was spent visiting architectural landmarks in Italy. Growing up, math and physics were my favorite subjects and I remember that in high school I became interested in static analysis. Later, when I had to choose university, I was split between studying mathematics or engineering. Eventually, I decided on structural engineering as I wanted to apply my knowledge in the physical world and see the results of my work.

After graduation, I joined Ramboll, which gave me the opportunity to work in London, Singapore, and now here in Copenhagen. It’s a great company to work for, you get a lot of autonomy and responsibility, plus there’s a strong focus on sustainability and safety in all projects. Also working in different cultures and markets has really broadened my mind.”

Sharing the responsibility of shaping our cities

“My main goal is to add value to a project. I try to keep a holistic approach in my projects and involve all stakeholders – clients, architects, and end users – early in the design process and I aim at delivering an integrated design solution. I’m a strong believer in the fusion of engineering knowledge and the architectural vision, which makes it possible to solve some of the challenges connected to the design of complex building structures early in the process, while at the same time generating value for the user and savings for the client.

I see myself as an enabler of the architect’s vision. One of the best examples is Tate Modern Gallery Extension in London. It was a fantastic project to be involved in – a small scale high rise with great work on prefabrication, as well as a cool engineered facade with over 3,000 Peikko connections that made the job faster and easier. I’m proud of having been part of the construction and whenever in London, I’m sure to pass by the museum.

I find it inspiring to work with developers, architects, and contractors in shaping the urban environment. Every project should have some element that you are truly proud of – so that you can look back and think what you have learned when working on the project.

Historically, engineering has been defined by a trial and error process and iteration until the most suitable solution was found. I believe you should never say no. Never say that something cannot be done. You need to explore all possible solutions – I’m certain that you will find one iteration that will solve your problem.

I want to push the boundaries of the construction industry in order to deliver magnificent and sustainable buildings. This can only be done in close collaboration with all the stakeholders.”


This article has been published originally at Connections 1/2020 magazine.