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Biomimicry as a Generator of Optimal Volumetrics in Wood

https://research.thinkwood.com/en/permalink/catalogue2195
Topic
Design and Systems
Organization
Université Laval
Country of Publication
Canada
Topic
Design and Systems
Keywords
Biomimicry
Environmental Adaptation
Digital Fabrication
Material efficiency
Research Status
In Progress
Notes
Project contact is André Potvin at Université Laval
Summary
The biomimetic approach in architecture explores the genius of organic natural forms resulting from a long process of environmental adaptation. These forms often have a high compactness and an optimal material / volume ratio in line with the importance of reducing the material in the building to limit its environmental impact in terms of energy and resources. What are the natural forms and processes of growth of the form most appropriate to the physical properties of wood? What design process promotes the integration of a biomimetic approach from the earliest stages of design? Based on a review of the main achievements claiming this approach, this project will develop a taxonomy of the different biomimetic typologies and identify the most promising in the context of a wood realization. A digital manufacturing process will be developed to reflect the complexity of natural shapes and flows in an organic architecture that optimizes environmental performance and aesthetics.
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Mass Timber, Small Format: Creative Applications of Fabrication Off-cuts

https://research.thinkwood.com/en/permalink/catalogue2798
Topic
Environmental Impact
Cost
Market and Adoption
Material
CLT (Cross-Laminated Timber)
MPP (Mass Plywood Panel)
Organization
TallWood Design Institute
University of Oregon
Country of Publication
United States
Material
CLT (Cross-Laminated Timber)
MPP (Mass Plywood Panel)
Topic
Environmental Impact
Cost
Market and Adoption
Keywords
Fabrication
Off-cuts
Cutouts
Furniture
Joinery
Open Source
Digital Design
Digital Fabrication
Research Status
In Progress
Notes
Project contacts are Linda Zimmer and Cory Olsen at the University of Oregon
Summary
During the testing and fabrication of mass timber projects a natural byproduct inevitably occurs in the form of offcuts and cutouts. In the case of new mass timber structures, the engineered wood materials are typically fabricated and prepared off site, allowing for the majority of the leftover materials to be made into useful products at the same facility already ideally set up for further digital fabrication. While the thickness of many of the spare panelized elements under investigation/production at TDI might seem excessive for smaller scale elements, the digital design and production techniques already being used allow for a fine degree of precision commensurate with furniture joinery. We propose to experiment with designing and fabricating furniture scale components and furniture prototypes as a way to reclaim these otherwise unused timber products. This project captures off cuts and remaindered materials from structural testing at TDI in both CLT and MPP panels. Our focus is the design and fabrication of freestanding furnishings (ex: stools, benches, tables, chairs) that will exploit the technologies available at the Emmerson Lab. We come at this with two perspectives: in the first, products could be made directly from the materials available; in the second, the output will act as a formwork or “jig” to facilitate construction of an entirely new prototype that could expand into additional material languages. In either case it is important to us to share digital files of prototypes as “open source” designs so that production facilities and design professionals can work together to reduce waste and/or use our designs as a springboard to customize their own pieces. In this way we address the stated program goals to expand and develop new products and building components and to foster markets for these. Our iterative approach to digital design and digital hybrids utilizes CNC/robotic fabrication and assembly and we will be testing our ideas in a design-build format.
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