Material Strategies in Digital Fabrication (Paperback) book cover

Material Strategies in Digital Fabrication

By Christopher Beorkrem

© 2013 – Routledge

224 pages

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Author Christopher Beorkrem shows how material performance drives the digital fabrication process and determines technique. He has recreated and dissected thirty-six of the most progressive works of architecture of the last few years, with perspectives from the designers so that you can learn from the successes and failures of each project. Including step-by-step diagrams and using consistent language and the simplest construction techniques, he identifies the important characteristics of each material, including connection types, relative costs, deformation, color, texture, finish, dimensional properties, durability, and weathering and waterproofing to link the design outcomes to form. The book is divided into five parts by material – wood, metal, concrete, hybrids, and recycled – to help you reference construction techniques for the fabrication machines you have on-hand.


"Beorkrem’s new book brings together what an inquisitive mind desires – an unravelling of the complexities and contradictions found in the built form. In each carefully selected case study, he systematically picks apart the design intentions, tools’capabilities and material limitations, and reveals the real invention and experimentation behind the photogenic work. This book introduces a different mode of formal analysis that acknowledges a new form of design intelligence. It succeeds in demystifying the problems of complex forms, and makes a renewed attempt in connecting architects deeply with the tools that are increasingly available in fabrication plants around the world."

H. Koon Wee, director of SKEW Collaborative and assistant professor, faculty of architecture, University of Hong Kong

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Timber/Wood Dunescape, SHoP Architects. Immaterial/Ultramaterial, Nader Tehrani. The Sequential Wall, Gramazio and Kohler. The Ripple Wall, Digital Arts Center. Zip Tooth Rocker, Schindlersalmeron. ICD/ITKE Pavilion, Achim Menges. Winnipeg Skate Shelters, Patkau Architects. Responsive Surface Structures, Steffen Reichert and Achim Menges. Stratifications, Gramazio and Kohler. Trondheim Camera Obscura, Norwegian University of Science and Technology 2. Metals Real Good Chair, Blue Dot Furniture. Material Formations In Design, Elijah Porter. FlatForm, Marbie Fairbanks. Croatian Pavilion, Venice Biennale Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Leo Modrcin. Frank Residence, Happy Box Architecture. Aqua Tower – Freeform, Studio Gang Architects. La Maison Unique – Longchamp Flagship Store, Heatherwick Studio. Between the Sheets, Heather Roberge 3. Concrete/Masonary C.A.S.T. Beam, Mark West. P_Wall, Matsys. UnikaBeton, Asbjorn Sondergaard. 290 Mulberry Street, SHoP Architects. Structural Oscillations, Gramazio and Kohler. Freeform Catalan Thin-tile Vaults, Philippe Block 4. Hybrids Feathered Edge, Ball Nogues Studio., SoftLab. MoMA PS1 Canopy, nArchitects. Periscope Tower, Matter Design. CoreFab-Nubik, Ammar Eloueini. Spanish Pavilion, Foreign Office Architects. 5. Recycled/Pre-Cycled Public Farm, WORK.AC. Packed, Tom Pawlofsky. Carborigami, Tine Hovsepian. Pallet Canopy, Digital Arts Centre UNC Charlotte. Pipe Furniture, Sebastien Wiernick. Table Cloth, Ball Nogues Studio.

About the Author

Christopher Beorkrem is Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / Design, Drafting, Drawing & Presentation
ARCHITECTURE / Methods & Materials