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Wood: Structure and Expression

Jan Helge Siem

Depart. Arch. & Tech.

Norwegian Univ. of Sc. and Techn.

Trondheim, Norway


DeInstitute of Architecture & Planning

University of Liechtenstein

Valuz, Liechtenstein

In the current wood architecture, the appearance of wood as a structural element is usually limited to log constructions, where the load-bearing wall is visually present.In most wood constructions, the material is used for the skeleton structure but covered with other materials and not expressed anymore. The goal of this special session is to broaden the perspectives and avoid a limited use of the material. In combining traditional craftsmanship and industrial production, the different speakers are aiming to research on new solutions, which develop new ways for the use of wood in different historical and technical cultures.

Crafting spatiality: Explorations with components and connections
for spatial architectural structures

Mario Rinke

ETH Zürich


Olga Popovic Larsen

Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts

Copenhagen, Denmark

Currently digital design tools offer interesting ways of exploring novel structural expressions. Defining and understanding complex geometries through digital tools offers new opportunities for creating novel solutions. Furthermore, advanced fabrication technologies enable complex processing of building components. However, a deep spatial thinking is needed to use the potentials of the many new possibilities of technology in design and fabrication.

This session looks into explorative spatial configurations of components and connections in structures of different scales using precision and the control of complexity to unlock new structural and architectural capacities. Aspects such as:

Which structural and formal qualities of complex spatial arrangements can be unlocked?

How can novel spatial arrangements in connections help to improve their performance and functionality?

Complexity v.s. simplicity: how do we achieve the optimal balance between material/structural efficiency, through fabrication and buildability, leading to novel spatial solutions?  

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