The art of building dome shell structures has given to the baroque for its assumed pompo- been with us since ancient times. Current ex- sity in glorifying curves. In practical terms amples in the Astrodome, the Superdome, such an attitude in design is clearly mani- the Kingdome, and the Florida Suncoast fested in the present cityscapes that are to- Dome stand to remind us of the counterpoint tally free of arches, domes, shells, and any they play to the Pantheon, S. Sophia, S. other form that is t rectilinear. Is this what Maria del Fiore, and St. Peter. The latter we really want-plans and elevations with may be thought of by some as being ancient only straight lines, ninety-degree angles, or, history, but they are present in the twentieth in some daring cases, forty-five-degree century and hence are a part of our present angles? It does t seem so. and future. Why do scholars continue to Similarly, the curricula in both civil engi- study them? What can they teach us? A re- neering and architecture in structures seem vival of interest in curvilinear structures is to igre intentionally arches and vaults, lim- under way, as the current examples just cited iting these subjects to graduate programs in thin-shell design as being a specialized eso- testify. At the beginning of this century, under teric subject.