The Winter School course explored designs for lightweight furniture-structures and digital fabrication techniques. It aimed to produce furniture prototypes in a limited time of 12 days with digital fabrication methods of laser cutting and CNC and a defined primary material – plywood.
The course began with understanding and appreciating digitally fabricated furniture pieces through images. A reverse design exercise followed wherein pictures of fragmented parts of designed furniture pieces were given on a sheet of paper and in groups of two, students worked backwards to understand and make complete drawings and models. This helped them gain a deeper understanding of the structure and the process of assembling. Each of these designs worked on a structural aspect of architecture such as tension, gravity, elasticity, bending stress etc. Moving ahead on those lines, students had to come up with their own designs, keeping in mind the given material palette.
Hans Christian Wilhelm, who was at CEPT to conduct this Winter School course in Dec 2017, has for several years worked in renowned international firms such as Antonio Citterio (Milan) and Foster+Partners (London). From 2009-16 he was lecturing and researching on building envelopes at TU Munich and SoA Bremen, alongside with running a practice for architecture and design. In 2017 he joined Victoria University of Wellington as a Senior Lecturer.