Talk by Christopher Robeller (TU Kaiserslautern) on “Digital Timber Construction – Innovation through Experimentation

Time: Wednesday, 18 November 2020, 11:00 am, online.

The DTC team is exploring, researching and teaching innovative architecture and structural systems with wood and engineered wood products, enabled by digital technology and computational methods. A major research aim is to use digital design and production methods for more efficient structures, using less material thanks to smart geometry , as well as innovative rapid assembly for simple, fast and precise construction processes. Our research into integrally attached timber structures is focused on digital design tools and automated prefabrication technology, in order to allow for a more rapid and precise assembly on site. The basic concept is the joining of parts through their form, instead of additional connectors. It allows to embed the assembly information into the shape of the parts, acting as integrated assembly guides. Furthermore, the sequence of assembly can be used for the mutual interlocking of parts. In this context, wood is a particularly important construction material not only for its carbon dioxide storage, but also for its favorable weight-to-strength ratio and low energy processing. It is therefore an ideal material for sustainable prefabricated structures, which greatly benefit from the possibility of readily available high-tech, high-precision technology in the factories.

Christopher Robeller leads the Digital Timber Construction group DTC at TU Kaiserslautern. He has previously worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research Digital Fabrication NCCR dfab at ETH Zurich, as a doctoral assistant at the Timber Construction Laboratory IBOIS at EPFL Lausanne, and as a research associate at the Institute of Computational Design ICD, at the University of Stuttgart. Christopher holds a Doctor of Sciences from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology EPFL, and a Professional Diploma in Architecture with Distinction from London Metropolitan University. His research of innovative timber structures, design for assembly and digital fabrication is widely published in scientific journals, books, conferences and exhibitions, and received the best paper award at the Advances in Architectural Geometry conference in 2014. The research has been implemented in prototype structures such as the ICD/itke pavilion (2010), the IBOIS curved folded wood pavilion (2013), the Vidy Theater Lausanne (2017), Annen Multihalle Manternach (2019), HexBox Canopy in Sydney (2019) and the DTC Recycleshell (2019).