*preprint*

**Inserted:** 23 jul 2019

**Year:** 2017

**Abstract:**

We reconsider the minimization of the compliance of a two dimensional elastic body with traction boundary conditions for a given weight. It is well known how to rewrite this optimal design problem as a nonlinear variational problem. We take the limit of vanishing weight by sending a suitable Lagrange multiplier to infinity in the variational formulation. We show that the limit, in the sense of $\Gamma$-convergence, is a certain Michell truss problem. This proves a conjecture by Kohn and Allaire.