The Future of Wood

This course will explore the future of wood construction instigated by emerging tools and processes. We will experiment with 3d Printing, 3 and 5-axis CNCing, as well as study iterative processes such as “soft/kill” and other shape optimization techniques that may inform new spatial and structural typologies. To begin the semester, we will conduct a review of normative wood construction techniques, investigating how wood constructions are typically assembled. We will then attempt to “manner” these systems, intentionally breaking their rules to achieve specific spatial effects. Throughout the semester we will be gathering and reviewing information on the latest advances in wood construction, creating a PDF booklet of our findings.


With this information in hand we will begin to speculate on possible futures in wood construction. There will be a series of exercises that help you engage directly with 3d Printing and CNCing. A studio feedback loop will help us determine new ideas to explore and we will be consistently asking about the nature of the printed or milled formal constructs and how they might translate into a more comprehensive architecture. We will be working with structural engineering students and a civil engineering professor (Michelle Lee Barry) throughout the semester. With their help we will break test, diagram, and iterate as a way of looking at space-making through a structural engineering lens.