Lehrende und MitarbeiterInnen

Raith, Karin Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.techn.

Conceptual joining - Wood Structures from Detail to Utopia
FWF PEEK Projekt
Architektur, Design, Holztechnologie, Werkstofftechnik, Joining techniques
Can a materialized joint become the origin of an aesthetic of architectural space? Besides its obvious ecological advantages, wood has a significant artistic potential and structural intelligence. Its fibrous directional structure — being able to handle multiple forces when activated correctly — offers a vast potential for complex performative geometries derived from and optimized to material logic. Furthermore, it is a dynamic material that visually transforms and interacts with its environment. It has a specific inherent logic that creates a productive tension between designer, material and user. ___ Looking back in history, some of the most relevant joining techniques critically influenced specific aesthetics and cultural articulation in the use of wood. For example, traditional Japanese joinery takes advantage of wood’s natural structure and behavior, Michael Thonet‘s pioneering work on bentwood in Vienna introduced new aesthetics of lightweight curvature to furniture and design. ___ Besides the work of key players in Asia, North America and Europe from the likes of Shigeru Ban, Kengo Kuma, Michael Green, Peter Zumthor and others, a material based approach is re‐established in avantgarde digital design as well. Researchers at institutes such as the EPFL Lausanne, the ETH Zurich and the ICD/ITKE Stuttgart are starting to use the material properties of wood to inform parametric models for the design of experimental structures. ___ Apart from theoretical research our work attempts to develop a joining culture that leads to a broader framework of concepts and visions. The understanding of crafting is used to influence methods and tools from which we aim to derive new design tendencies. Experimentation on traditional joining techniques get enhanced by parametric computer control and contemporary tools of fabrication. Specific topics of investigation will include the analysis of material properties on various levels and scales as well as mechanical and chemical joints within frameworks of structural members. The resulting strategies are then developed into larger‐scale configurations, structures that can provide usable architectural systems and perceivable spaces. ___ From this material‐oriented method of designing, we aim to derive enhanced modes of contemporary articulation of wooden structures in order to achieve coherent systems. Working on multiple scales, we intend to create objects and structured spaces that manifest in typologies in between furniture and building. This process is intended to become accessible through an interactive “physical blog”. By “posting” research results on exhibition platforms we expose them to the public on a regular basis in a testing mode and to allow discussions to arise with experts from the field. At three key moments the research work will accumulate in installations of various scales. By promoting handcraft towards a topical method of production, qualities of intuition, the subconscious and unpredictable, we develop typologies and configurations of a materialist nature.
“Conceptual Joining – Wood Structures from Detail to Utopia ”, a research project at the University of Applied Arts Vienna funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). The team consists of architects, designers, carpenters and engineers ___ Project lead: Christoph Kaltenbrunner. Mentors: Karin Raith, Anja Jonkhans, Clemens Preisinger. Researchers: Lukas Allner, Daniela Kröhnert, Philipp Reinsberg, Mechthild Weber.
Christoph Kaltenbrunner
Researchers: Lukas Allner, Daniela Kröhnert, Philipp Reinsberg, Mechthild Weber., Mentors: Karin Raith, Anja Jonkhans, Clemens Preisinger.
FWF PEEK Programm
FWF PEEK Programm
Karin Raith
Beratung, Projektpartner*in
2017-06-01 – 2020-12-31