Wood: Embedded Responsiveness
thesisposted on 24.05.2021, 11:39 by Ryan Fernandes
Architecture provides the material context in which everyday life unfolds. As a material practice, architecture is constantly in flux, responding dynamically to changes in the surrounding environment. The emergence of New Materialism, stemming from Modernist ideas, marks a shift in architecture from a discourse of symbolism and metaphors, towards one of performance and material behaviour. This thesis studies material performance in the context of wood architecture. Wood is a heterogeneous material with unique performative capacities as a result of its biological makeup. This heterogeneity is often viewed as a disadvantage when compared to more uniform materials that behave more predictably. However, when reconsidered, the unique qualities of wood can be used to inform design. This thesis investigates these qualities with a focus on the material’s responsiveness to moisture. In doing so, it attempts to unravel the potential of wood in the advancement of a new wood architecture.