"Sewn Timber Shell" has been accepted to be presented at Rob|Arch 2018 (robarch2018.org) through the Rob|Arch 2018 Call for Videos.
The Sewn Timber Shell investigates the use of robotics and sensing mechanisms in combination with garment design and industrial sewing techniques to explore a new way of fabricating tailored wood structures and re-engaging with traditional craftsmanship.
The related research studies traditional garment patterning and connection techniques still used in fashion today and re-interprets them in a new material context. Fabric is replaced by thin sheets of plywood, which establishes an altered relation between material pliability and stiffness and thus introduces loadbearing capacity to the novel material system. Sewing plays a similar role as in garment design, as the seams enable tailoring three-dimensional curved shapes from a flat sheet material that envelope the body. If applied on an architectural scale, the seams become connections that shape the material based on the elastic bending of wood, which creates structural capacity and spatial enclosure.
The Sewn Timber Shell 2017 is a collaborative project by the Institute for Computational Design and Construction (ICD) at Stuttgart University and the Digital Design Research Center (DDRC) at Tongji University, Shanghai that forms part of the Sino-German Research Project “Performative Design Methodologies based on Robotic Fabrication for Sustainable Architecture (GZ 1162)” funded by the Sino-German Research Centre.
The project will be on show at the inaugural exhibition “Minding the Digital” of the Design Society, China’s new leading design museum in Shenzhen.
ICD University of Stuttgart – Martín Alvarez, Prof. Achim Menges
DDRC Tongji University – Chai Hua, Prof. Philip Yuan
Samuel Leder, Valentina Soana, Iván Jimenez