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Tangiential Timber

architectural design installation

published in

What are the possibilities of using irregular-shaped waste materials for structural applications? My team of fellow students and I collaborated to design an installation at Morven Farm at the University of Virginia by employing cutting-edge woodworking and digital fabrication techniques. We creatively repurposed lumber by-products to craft an installation that encapsulates the site's rich history in an abstract form.

The fabrication process was complex, but rewarding. Through much trial and error, we developed a digital imaging method to capture and trace the 2D shapes of the log "cookies," which were then transformed into 3D models. Instead of fixed-sized log cross sections, we worked with a range of diameters, allowing our parametric model to adapt the vault design to cookies of varying shapes and sizes. These transformed cookies became interlocking, reusable structural blocks. Utilizing a five-axis water jet, we precision-cut the joints for each piece, and a CNC router added surface continuity to create a cohesive patchwork of irregular structural blocks.

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