Purpose of Communication

Purpose of Communication

WINTER 2008-2009

Communication in action

On this project, I was part of the audience in a presentation or more precisely a lecture on the art of structural engineering presented by a well eminent and respectable professor from Princeton University, Dr. David P. Billington.

The purpose of the communication was mainly to inform about the several aspects of architecture and in particular the art involved in the design of bridges. He previously wrote several books and articles relative to this subject. Among them was “The art of structural design: a Swiss legacy,” which constituted the inspiration of the lecture he presented. Throughout the presentation, Dr. Billington spoke on the history of bridge design practiced as an art by the best structural engineers in the 20th century such as: Wilhelm Ritter, Robert Maillart, Othmar Ammann, Pierre Lardy, Heinz Isler, and Christian Menn.

The type of communication was a public presentation, with Dr. Billington being the main speaker (source), students and professors, the audience (receivers).

The context of the communication was mainly physical, which refers to the location where the presentation took place. It happened in a lecture hall with over one hundred people in the audience, in an educational environment. It was a face to face communication that allowed the speaker to directly refer to pictures and models as well as to use body languages throughout his speech to make sure his message reached his audience in an efficient way.

The communication I observed followed one of the main principles by coming in a package, with the source making uses of both verbal and non-verbal means to deliver his message to his audience. In fact, the channels of communication were audio-visual but largely based on a PowerPoint slides, filled with pictures, drawings, sketches and sometimes texts with the presenter commenting and elaborating on them....

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