Active Wood Products

Credit: Christophe Guberan

Traditional wood-bending techniques require complex steaming equipment, labor-intensive forming processes and a high degree of expertise. In addition, the natural pattern of wood grain and its physical properties make it difficult to curve into complex shapes. Novel printing and composite material technologies can now overcome previous limitations on wood forming. Flat sheets of customprinted wood composite can be designed to selftransform in controlled and unique ways. We have developed a series of two-dimensional patterns, wood-printing techniques and processes for moistureactivation that promote precise transformation from a flat sheet to curved, twisted or folded three-dimensional forms. Active Wood Products are produced with a printed wood filament and carefully designed flat patterns that when subject to moisture can selftransform into the final shape of the product. We imagine a variety of products from tableware to jewelry and even furniture that can be designed and printed, then shipped flat in a moisture pack and selftransform at home.

Credit: Christophe Guberan (CH) and the Self-Assembly Lab // MIT Media Lab (US)
In cooperation with: Institute for Computational Design, University of Stuttgart