WSE 425/525 Timber Tectonics in the Digital Age in a Nutshell

The “Timber tectonics” course is designed in collaboration with the University of Oregon, Department of Architecture. This course is to designed to expose a multi-disciplinary group of students to integrated project delivery approaches. Students in this class come from the WSE’s Renewable Material Program or are graduate students dual majoring in WSE and CCE. These students will work on a collaborative project, a small-scale timber construction, together with Architecture students. Students learn how to use the Rhinoceros Grasshopper parametric design and Karamba structural analysis software for the design and analysis of their collaborative project.

The online content is organized in a series of short lessons (totaling 2 hours of instruction) addressing three main topics – (a) structural systems; (b) materials and technology; (c) parametric modeling tutorials. Some of these “capsule” lessons are meant to fill some knowledge gaps in the different disciplinary groups – so students will select the instructional material more appropriate for their knowledge level and expertise area. Students interact online in three dedicated Forums: 1) Case study Discussion; 2) Parametric Modeling Q&A; 3) Team Project and Peer-review. MS Teams will be the main online platform for the interaction among students and for the team work. Canvas will be used to share the course content and for grading. The public course blog will be used to post intermediate and final versions of the team projects.

Project teams will meet weekly (in class and remotely with UO) for 2-hour labs; at the end of the term, most of this time will be spent in the RM Digital Fabrication Lab and Wood shop to fabricate details of the designed building. Additional class time (80 min./weekly) will be dedicated to 1) review topics of the online modules and discuss applications of the studied concepts in architectural projects; 2) review and troubleshoot software exercises.

There will be in total four face-to-face meetings with Architecture students: 1) kickoff meeting and team building activities; 2) and 3) Project review meetings; 4) Final project presentation.


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About riggioma

Mariapaola Riggio has an M.S. in Architecture from the University of Florence, Italy and a Ph.D. in Structural Engineering from the University of Trento, Italy. Assistant Professor in the Department of Wood Science and Engineering (OSU) since September 2015. Dr. Riggio has an established reputation among the international scientific community, as an expert in timber buildings assessment. Her research activity is mainly devoted to the valorization of traditional and novel forest products in the built environment.
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