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Scripted Timber

Bottom-up Platform for Connecting Digital Fabrication with Everybody

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Project Type:  Digital fabrication, system design

Roles:  Designer

Team:  Shu Zhou

Timeline:  Summer 2015

Limited Availability of Digital Fabrication

Digital fabrication has been widely used in many fields, yet it is too complicated for the public to understand or use. The purpose of this project is to help create an usable system by which people can design their own living spaces.

Meanwhile, the system will calculate the exact shape of all construction components which can be easily machined. As a result, autonomous fabrication can be achieved by everyone through the bottom-up interactive platform.


Workflow of the platform construction process

Social Problem

China is undergoing fast urbanization, more and more people are swarming into the city, making price of housing unaffordable for ordinary residents. People are thus trapped in old apartments and use all kinds of methods to enlarge their living spaces by adding new structure on existing building.

Occupied public corridors
@ Longchang Flats, Shanghai

Self-built units
@Kowloon City, Hongkong

Crowded buildings
@City Village, Shenzhen

Bridge Hi-tech with Low-tech

Interactive Platform

There are four digital inputs in the digital platform - time, material, fabrication, and structure. Users can put desired level of input and the best outcome will be chosen and optimized through the process, which corporates the empirical hand-craft with digital fabrication.

Four Steps to Construction!

Step 1 - Choosing Frames

These circles stand for columns in a grid system. People only need to pick a series of circles and the platform will automatically generate the structure solutions.

Step 2 - Customizing Needs

People may set heights for columns or width of beams, and they can also make timber frames as structure for floors or walls or twisted 3D.

Step 3 - Presenting Solutions

People may make different designs and all of them can be presented together. So it is helpful for this decision making process.

Step 4 - Fabrication

Through digital fabrication methods and digital assembly, various timber joint and combinations can be fabricated and installed easily.