Performative Morphology

Summer Semester 2021 I ITECH Studio
ITECH Module 26020
Master Module 47531,-41,-51 Computerbasiertes Entwerfen 1, 2, 3

ICD: Prof. A. Menges, D. Wood, L. Kiesewetter
ITKE: Prof. J. Knippers, A. Körner, K. Takahashi

Active Wood Morphology

ICD/ITKE Research Pavilion 2021/22

Wood is a performative, sustainable and structural material widely used in architecture across cultures. Moreover, as a result of its anisotropic fibrous cellular structure wood as a material possess intrinsic active properties giving it the ability to change shape and stiffness in response to moisture. These hygroscopic forces cause shrinking and swelling typically resulting in uncontrolled and unwanted deformations. However, when employed in a designed approach such natural forces can be utilized as a highly effective generator of physical form.

The focus of this studio is the investigation and deployment of self-shaping wood material systems for in situ, autonomous construction and the related architectural morphologies. The overarching aim is to employ the powerful shaping behaviors of wood as an alternative to large machines shaping and assembling components on the construction site. In this second semester of the studio project the students will work in small teams on the technical development of the design concepts with the goal to fabricate and build one 1:1 demonstrator at the end of the semester. On a technical level the studio will investigate wood material systems for self-construction and self-assembly as well as the associated methods of robotic prefabrication, material digitization, and additive material informed fabrication. Computational design and structural simulation will serve as a basis for furthering development of integrative modeling approaches for both the analysis and exploration of new architectural morphologies of self-shaping. Systems will be evaluated based on levels of autonomy, as well as structural, architectural and ecological performance. Particular attention will be directed towards the ecological aspects of the building materials and construction processes by developing an approach considering the potentials for integrating active materials behaviors in an architecture that is not only bio inspired, but bio based and uniquely bio constructed.

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