This project is entitled “Woven Grove,” and is an exploration of the inherent material behaviors of bamboo and inspired by the craft-based practice of weaving. As bamboo is one of the most rapid growing natural materials and is capable of absorbing vast amounts of carbon in the process of growth, it seemed to us to be a very natural material to begin exploring. We often begin with a material and try to develop an understanding of how we might best leverage the material for its inherent properties and behaviors and allow those studies to drive our design. In this case we found that the bamboo was highly pliable and flexible, however, when these forces are woven together we are able to achieve a highly rigid and lightweight structure. Following the natural behavior of the material as a driver for design, we don’t as much tell the material what to do, but rather allow the form to emerge through behavioral simulations. This work is meant to challenge and question our conventional means of construction and design, suggests that there are potential avenues and processes which take a path of less resistance, in this sense we are suggesting that the outdated trope of “Man vs Nature” is no longer valid in so many ways, and instead seek to promote the idea of “Humanity within Nature.”
Both foreign and familiar, the geometric principles of the materials behavior are leveraged to find a formal strategy in sync with inherent physical properties. This work proposes a new approach to how structural elements are created, beginning with rigorous study of the natural bamboo as the primary driver for formal determination as opposed to conventional processes which define a design space then seek to force materials to match that form. Across the scales of the work biomimetic principles define the design approach through a bottom up generative propagation.
Utilizing customized artificial intelligence algorithms as a means of generating form, simulating behavior and creating fabrication logics the work suggests a new model for contemporary design. Antoni Gaudi declared that nature does not create straight lines, the formal behavior of this work is inspired from nature but not taken, co-opting the principles and ideas into an architectural language. To achieve these forms complex yet simple rule sets are created and fed through artificially intelligent algorithms. Lastly, the final fabrication is completed through a process in which the assembly logics are embedded within the material itself rather than requiring additional referential assembly and construction drawings.
This project is an initial step towards to development of a much larger design methodology. Looking forward to ever advancing emerging technologies the work drives towards a potential for increasing integration between the many spheres of making and design. While the work is created through increasingly advanced technological innovations, it finds its execution within the natural realm of sustainable material and formal characteristics. In this way the work does not suggest that there is a singular way forward through technology but rather an evolutionary process which is capable of including an ever more diverse array of parameters within its environment.