ARC 550– Material Manipulations: WOOD

Course Preview Image
Course Details

Course No.: 10370

Department: Architecture

Semester: 2015 Fall

Location: Crosby – 301

Meeting Day(s): Thursday

Meeting Time: 10:00AM - 12:40PM

Faculty: Pries

Man has been working with wood since the dawn of time. Some of the first tools developed by early humans were used to work wood. As time progressed Man’s craft improved and wood was no longer exclusively used for its structural ability, heat capacity and toolmaking. Woodworking became more visually complex through joinery techniques and ornamental via woodcarving. A trade was born that paid careful attention to the quality of the product; down to the smallest detail. Many architects have taken up the trade as it both frees them from typical architectural constraints and also has the ability to enhance their designed space.


Material Manipulations: WOOD explores the trade-craft through two different lenses: hand craft and machine craft. Specifically, Material Manipulations: WOOD investigates the performative qualities of woodworking through a series of hands-on exercises.


Initial exploration will focus on techniques developed across a wide spectrum of time and locale. More specifically, a series of case studies will be analyzed through the lens of a specific woodworking technique. Following each case study, students will physically explore the woodworking techniques. Specific examples include but are not limited to, the dovetail joint and mortise and tenon joint. Additional material covered will include the basic types of wood, types of rip sawing and woodworking terminology.


The second set of exercises focuses on the CNC Router and how a modern tool afforded a designer more accuracy but it comes at a cost; tooling marks and no inside corners. Investigations will be conducted to overcome these mechanical setbacks and intimately understand the relationship between man, tool and material.


Students will learn how to program a CNC router, the difference between types of endmills and proper cutting techniques, including fixturing, to produce a high quality part.