Do you ever feel small? It’s easy to feel tiny in the shadow of a huge building or the in the wake of a weighty event. And there has been plenty of news about destructive actions for the past day or so here in the States, so let’s look at some construction. The scale of construction and engineering projects is frequently enormous, but the work is still carried out by the hands of workers who aren’t bigger or smaller than the rest of us. Sure, those hands may be steering gargantuan trucks or controlling cranes so large they easily dwarf the trucks, but realizing large projects is about people our size working to build something. These photos are of the people who get it done.
They are part of Engineering News-Record’s ‘Year in Construction’ from this past year. The interface to navigate the photos is a little cumbersome, but the point is the photos, a small portion of which are shown above and below. These are fantastic construction photos and my favorites tend to highlight the folks who aren’t frequently highlighted. If architects have the vision, and engineers the know-how, then it’s the workers who have the hands. It’s strange to think of the handiwork that goes into realizing these projects (all the welding, tedious rebar tying, etc.) and how traces of construction workers tend to disappear as a project nears completion. While the traces are out of sight, they’re often lurking just beneath the surface. Hiding behind the drywall and drop ceilings of finished projects you’ll find the handprints, dropped tools, and the food wrappers of people you’ll never know.