CumInCAD is a Cumulative Index about publications in Computer Aided Architectural Design
supported by the sibling associations ACADIA, CAADRIA, eCAADe, SIGraDi, ASCAAD and CAAD futures

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id acadia09_66
authors Menges, Achim
year 2009
title Performative Wood: Integral Computational Design for Timber Constructions
source ACADIA 09: reForm( ) - Building a Better Tomorrow [Proceedings of the 29th Annual Conference of the Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) ISBN 978-0-9842705-0-7] Chicago (Illinois) 22-25 October, 2009), pp. 66-74
summary Wood differs from most building materials in that it is a naturally grown biological tissue. Thus wood displays significant differentiation in its material makeup and structure as compared to most industrially produced, isotropic materials. Upon closer examination wood can be described as an anisotropic natural fiber system with different material characteristics and related behavior in different directions relative to the main grain orientation. Because of its differentiated internal capillary structure wood is also hygroscopic. It absorbs and releases moisture in exchange with the environment and these fluctuations cause differential dimensional changes. In architectural history the inherent heterogeneity of wood and the related more complex material characteristics have been mainly understood as a major deficiency by the related crafts, timber industry, engineers and architects alike. This paper will present an alternative design approach and associated computational design tools that aim at understanding wood’s differentiated material make up as its major capacity rather than a deficiency. Along two design experiments the related research on an integral computational design approach towards unfolding wood’s intrinsic material characteristics and performative capacity will be discussed. The first experiment explores the anisotropic characteristics of wood by exploiting the differential bending behavior in relation to the local induction of forces through which a specific overall morphology can be achieved. The second experiment focuses on the hygroscopic property of wood as the base for developing a surface structure that responds to changes in relative humidity with no need for any additional electronic or mechanical control.
keywords Wood, materiality, prototype, performance, responsive design
series ACADIA
type Normal paper
full text file.pdf (277,202 bytes)
references Content-type: text/plain
Details Citation Select
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100%; open Skaar C. (1988) Find in CUMINCAD Wood Water Relations , Berlin: Springer

100%; open Terzidis, K. (2006) Find in CUMINCAD Algorithmic Architecture , Oxford: Architectural Press

last changed 2009/11/26 16:44
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