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.
The pedagogical objectives of the seminar are to introduce students to the potential of the robotic fabrication technology and to have them work on a design which engages this technology so as to obtain fluency with the technology.
In experimenting with new technologies, it changes our understanding of fabrication and this in turn changes how we understand the limits of what can be designed. In addition, this seminar will introduce students to designing with wood in ways that are less conventional – using the natural bending properties of the material and thinking of wood to wood connections. As such, we will be engaging with a new emerging language of wood and the potential of current innovations to change how we design in wood.