CB

Metabolic Weave

Metabolic Weave is an investigation into the form finding capabilities of weaving doubly curving 3mm plywood. The material and structural research studied the structural capacity and expressive potential of thin plywood strips.

The project’s ambition was to study the differentiation in visual effect and structure through the use of repetitive but adjustable elements. The project was a response to the financial inaccessibility of digital fabrication that offered variation through multiple unique elements.

Using Gottfried Semper’s 19th Century theory of Metabolism as a departure point, that architecture was rationally reducible to the materials and processes associated with their uses. The project developed a structural unit that could modulate across an entire structure.

Semper’s theory was concerned with the categorisation and crossover of material production techniques, and he categorised materials by methods of physical manipulation - pliable (fabrics), soft (clay), stick-like elements (wood), dense (stone). These material types were further categorised into techniques of material assembly - Textiles (weaving), Ceramics (sculpting), Tectonics (connections), Stereotomy (packing).

From Semper’s material definitions an ambition was set to explore multiple assembly techniques through the same method of physical manipulation. The outcome was a repeatable and adjustable building unit using the method of textiles, that could achieve assemblies through both tectonic and stereotomy techniques.

Urban Pollen

Urban Pollen

Urban Pollen

Urban Pollen

Urban Pollen

Urban Pollen

The final design employed digital representation and physical installation to propose how a digital aesthetic associated with digital fabrication is achievable through standardised elements configured into adjustable units.

Urban Pollen