Performative Wood Seminar


Performative Wood investigates what innovations in robotic fabrication could mean for design in this material. As technology advances and drawing in architecture becomes more closely engaged with fabrication through digital design tools, how we conceive of architecture and the role of the designer become more closely entwined. 

Innovation in material and fabrication have changed the language of architecture in the past and will continue to do so. Wood can be seen as the material of this century because of its sustainable and renewable properties. To look at the synergies of the characteristics of this material in a new way and combine this with robotic fabrication may bring some interesting developments in design language.

Find more information here!

See here for the students’ course work.


Robot Made 2022: Mille-feuille Pavilion

The Mille-feuille Pavilion is a robotically fabricated temporary pavilion, installed at the University of British Columbia. The pavilion is the result of a workshop hosted by the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA) and the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing (CAWP), which took place from June 4-8, 2022. The workshop was led by Assistant Professor David Correa of the University of Waterloo, Oliver David Krieg of Intelligent City, and Associate Professor AnnaLisa Meyboom from UBC SALA.

The experimental structure demonstrates how long-used materials can partner with new design and high accuracy fabrication technologies to create new ways of using the material – pushing the boundaries of how we build. The installation is part of a larger investigation of how we build with wood considering parametric design programs, integrated data workflows and robotic fabrication technologies. It is one out of five full-scale pavilions that we have built at UBC since 2015.

Watch the video on Millefeuille!

New Book: Design Capital

My new book written with my excellent colleague Sherry McKay is now out! Find it on Amazon or Routledge.

Design Capital: The Hidden Value of Design in Infrastructure

Designers have been unable to make a case for excellence in the design of public infrastructure. They have neither the tools nor a strategy to demonstrate the value of design in the face of public criticism of any perceived spending on that which might be considered unnecessary. Competition for scarce government funds and a general public perception of infrastructure as mere efficiency, as well as wariness of wasteful use of tax revenues, has often left design ill-considered. Nevertheless, beautifully designed infrastructure brings social value that far exceeds its initial construction expenditure.

With this objective, the book offers strategies and tools for justifying public spending on design considerations in infrastructure projects. The term ‘design capital’ serves to redefine the seemingly mute asset of design as an expressible value. Design capital is a way of capturing the various assets of design and the manner in which they can operate within a system of exchange usually restricted to economic capital.

The premise is that design has the ability  to make infrastructure  resonate with cultural or social value, as seen in the case studies, which bestows infrastructure with the potential to accrue design capital. Support for this proposition is drawn from various methodologies of economic valuation and Bourdieu’s theory of  cultural capital, explanation of design methodology and education and a series of historical and contemporary case studies.  The book also addresses some of the more controversial outcomes associated with contemporary infrastructure: gentrification, globalization and consumer tourism.

AnnaLisa Meyboom Interests & Works

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