Smart Innovative Manufacturing of Wood Components

2017 - 2019 | ICD Research Project
CTI Research and Development

Laboratory for Applied Wood Materials, Empa (Prof. I. Burgert)
Institute for Computational Design and Construction: (Prof. A. Menges)

Smart Innovative Manufacturing of Wood Components for Architecture with Complex Geometry

Related Research Publications:

Wood, D.: 2021, Material programming for fabrication : integrative computational design for self-shaping curved wood building components in architecture. ICD Research Report No. 6, Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart. ( )

Wood, D., Grönquist, P., Bechert, S., Aldinger, L., Riggenbach, D., Lehmann, K., Rüggeberg, M., Burgert, I., Knippers, J., Menges, A.: 2020, From Machine Control to Material Programming: Self-Shaping Wood Manufacturing of a High Performance Curved CLT Structure -- Urbach Tower, in Burry, J., Sabin, J., Sheil, B., Skavara, M. (eds.), Fabricate 2020: Making Resilient Architecture, UCL Press, London, pp. 50-57. (

Aldinger, L*., Bechert, S*., Wood, D*., Knippers, J., Menges, A.: 2020, Design and Structural Modelling of Surface-Active Timber Structures Made from Curved CLT – Urbach Tower, Remstal Gartenschau 2019, in Gengnagel, C., Baverel, O., Burry, J., Ramsgaard Thomsen, M., Weinzierl, S. (Eds.), Impact: Design With All Senses, Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp. 419-432. (doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-29829-6 33)

Grönquist, P., Wood, D., Hassani, M., Wittel, F., Menges, A., Rüggeberg, M.: 2019, Analysis of hygroscopic self-shaping wood at large scale for curved mass timber structures, Science Advances, Vol. 5 No. 9, pp. eaax1311. (doi:10.1126/sciadv.aax1311 )

Wood, D., Brütting, J., Menges, A.: 2018, Self-Forming Curved Timber Plates: Initial Design Modeling for Shape-Changing Material Buildups, in IASS – Creativity in Structural Design [Proceedings of the IASS Symposium 2018], Cambridge, MA.

Wood, D. , Vailati, C., Menges, A., Rüggeberg, M.: 2018, Hygroscopically actuated wood elements for weather responsive and self-forming building parts- Facilitating upscaling and complex shape changes. Construction and Building Materials, Elsevier, March 2018, DOI:10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2017.12.134

Wood, D. , Correa, D., Krieg, O., Menges, A.: 2016, Material computation—4D timber construction: Towards building-scale hygroscopic actuated, self-constructing timber surfaces, International Journal of Architectural Computing (IJAC), Sage, February 2016, DOI: 10.1177/1478077115625522


Media Coverage:

Programming Elegance -University of Stuttgart - Research Magazine

Cool New Method Curves Wood Without Machines - Popular Mechanics

Tall twisting tower is made from wood that shapes itself as it dries - New Scientist

These researchers invented an entirely new way of building with wood - Fast Company

Building with wood that bends itself into shape - ETH Zurich

Wood that shapes itself -Empa News

Wie bringt Holz sich selbst in Form? – P.M Wissen - Servus TV

With a new technology, wood gets itself into shape - NZZ (Switzerland)

University of Stuttgart makes Urbach Tower from self-shaping wood - DEZEEN

Self-shaping timber could rival CLT for structural use - RIBA Journal

This Week in Tech: Constructing with Deforming Wood—Intentionally - ARCHITECT Magazine

Urbach Tower Pioneers "Self-Shaping" Wood Construction Technique - Core77

Interview to Dylan Wood: the Urbach Tower and wood panels that curve on their own - Design Wanted


Laboratory for Applied Wood Materials, Swiss Federal Institute of Material Science and Technology (Empa) / Wood Materials Science, Institute of Building Materials, ETH Zürich

Dr. Markus Rüggeberg (Lead), Philippe Groenquist, Prof. I. Burgert

Institute for Computational Design and Construction, University of Stuttgart
Dylan Wood, Prof. A. Menges



Blumer Lehmann AG



Institute for Engineering Geodesy, University of Stuttgart,

Annette Schmitt, Prof. V. Schwieger



Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation  (CTI / KTI)






Dylan Wood, University of Stuttgart, Institute for Computational Design and Construction

Contact information


Institute for Computational Design and Construction

University of Stuttgart, Keplerstraße 11, 70174 Stuttgart

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