Tyler Swingle, University of Texas at Austin
Wood is a unique material. It is a renewable resource with a cellular structure that offers a variety of abilities to swell, shrink, bend and absorb in a responsive manner. Further, its ability to sequester carbon, regrow in cycles, flex for adaption and reuse, and provide unique warm aesthetics sets it apart from other architectural materials. However, as a standardized and mass produced tool for construction, the uniqueness and variety of wood as an architectural material and a building resource is underused and underdeveloped. In dialogue with the timber industry of East Texas and existing material research, this studio will decouple wood as a tool from the expected production and construction methods of contemporary architecture. Rather than conforming to conventions, students will prototype, digitize and develop new formal and performative designs that emphasize the unique material characteristics of wood and speculate on new timber construction standards.