Monday, January 16, 2017

Digital Wood - Master's Thesis Research Project at Chalmers University of Technology


Digital Wood - Design & fabrication of a full-scale exhibition structure in plywood
Team: Viktoria Henriksson, Emil Poulsen and Oscar Gillkvist

Viktoria Henriksson has been kind enough to share with us her Master's Thesis research project, which she did together with Emil Poulsen and Oskar Gillkvist, for which Rhino and Grasshopper were used as the primary design tools.

"Plywood has many times before been used for temporary structures in architecture, mainly because of the relatively low cost and availability. Plywood is often seen as a perfectly flat sheet material, free from otherwise common properties of timber such as imperfections and grain direction. However, plywood is actually a diverse material with inherent dynamic properties associated with the tree it once came from. This is something that is rarely seen in contemporary plywood design but could be emphasized and more accessible through computational design and digital fabrication.

The research project “Digital Wood” investigates and utilizes the bending properties and dynamics of plywood through the use of computational design and digital fabrication. Through a design-by-research approach using full-scale experiments and digital tools, this project seeks to explore new perspectives of programming timber in the field of architecture and design.


In collaboration with industrial partners, a temporary structure was designed and built for the Wood and Technology exhibition in Gothenburg, Sweden to function as a gathering place and visual label for visitors, while exploring new unexpected ways of implementing wood.


3D-modelling in Rhinoceros and Grasshopper played a major role both in the design process and the realization of the pavilion. Custom tools and scripts were developed and used for everything from generation of cutting patterns to automating the production of CNC files. With the use of modern technology and new treatment methods, “Digital Wood” pushes the boundaries for how conventional material can be used to unleash new creative potentials".

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