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Adaptive Wooden Architecture. Designing a Wood Composite with Shape-Memory Behavior

Part of the Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering book series (LNCE,volume 24)


Wood is a sustainable and attractive material with a venerable history of use in architectural construction and carpentry. It also has a promising and innovative future in architecture and design. The aim of our research is to reintroduce wood as a responsive and transformable material for use in novel adaptive architectural design. By combining a refurbished technique of wood-cutting known as kerfing with the use of a shape-memory polymer resin, we have created wood-based surfaces that can turn into precise curvilinear forms without incurring damage, and then self-transform to their original shape in response to environmental stimuli. We developed a temperature-based responsive polymer and a flexible, diamond-shaped kerfing pattern in our prototype testing and were able to achieve the desired results. This method enabled us to design and control the material and its behavior by taking advantage of the micro-scale resin polymer’s effects, combined with wood’s specifically cut geometry. In addition to demonstrating the possibilities of shape memory behavior for wood-based architecture, this prototype offers a practical technique that can be used by designers to create flexible and inexpensive wood-based fabrications on the required scale with compact storage and transportation alignments.


  • Adaptive architecture
  • Wood design
  • Shape memory behavior
  • Curvilinear surfaces
  • Responsive wooden surfaces
  • Smart Materials in Architecture

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-03676-8_27
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This project was funded by the National Science Foundation’s EAGER Award #1548243 and titled “Interaction of Smart Materials for Transparent, Self-regulating Building Skins.” A previous description of this ongoing project was published in the CAADRIA 2018 conference proceeding (Mansoori et al. 2018).

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Correspondence to Maryam Mansoori .

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Mansoori, M., Kalantar, N., Creasy, T., Rybkowski, Z. (2019). Adaptive Wooden Architecture. Designing a Wood Composite with Shape-Memory Behavior. In: Bianconi, F., Filippucci, M. (eds) Digital Wood Design. Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering, vol 24. Springer, Cham.

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