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  3. Woodskin: The Flexible Timber Skin

Woodskin: The Flexible Timber Skin

Woodskin: The Flexible Timber Skin
Courtesy of MammaFotogramma
Courtesy of MammaFotogramma

Have you ever wanted to create delicate, complex shapes from plywood, but can't because it's too stiff and unforgiving? Well all that might soon change, thanks to Milan-based design studio MammaFotogramma. They have created a type of flexible, 'Woodskin' triangular tiles of russian plywood.

Read more about Woodskin after the break...

Woodskin originated from a submission the studio made to open source design competition, Autoprogettazione 2.0. Inspired by the potential they saw in the material, team-members Giulio Masotti and Gianluca Lo Presti incorporated the material into the design of a rock-climbing gym in Montreal, which they were working on. However, while the material was there in concept, the exact manufacturing technique had still to be worked out. To do this, the two moved to Montreal and lived near the site of the gym, so they could experiment with different materials and compounds to perfect the design. The result is a sheet of russian plywood, routed into a series of a series of triangular tiles, held together by a vinyl mesh.

Courtesy of MammaFotogramma
Courtesy of MammaFotogramma

“At that time we were looking for a solution that would fulfill our need to create complex shapes" says Masotti.  “What we created was a skin that would allow us to focus on the structure and would adapt to it, leaving the builder the total control with the flexibility to change the forms at any moment during the whole process.”

At the moment, the design of Woodskin is patent pending and the group are pressing forward with developing it. The team have begun a collaboration with Biffi carpentry in Milan; they hope to investigate other possible uses for the materials such as claddings and flexible walls.

Courtesy of MammaFotogramma
Courtesy of MammaFotogramma

“Thanks to new technologies, structures are getting much like our own bodies,” Masotti says. “Here is the skeleton, its joints and muscles expanding and contracting behind our skin, defining our movements and posture. WoodSkin is simply a convenient and innovative way of rendering these visible.”

via MammaFotogramma, Wired

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About this author
Nicky Rackard
Cite: Nicky Rackard. "Woodskin: The Flexible Timber Skin" 21 Apr 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884
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