At the Design Academy Eindhoven graduate show earlier this month, designer Hung-Pin Hsueh presented a system for using Taiwan Cypress driftwood as an architectural building material.
Hsueh proposes that small pieces of timber - usually discarded as unsuitable for architectural purposes - could be used in construction to reduce the need for intensive logging.
"The forests are logged in search for big timber that is suitable for architectural constructions," he explains. "By designing a structure that allows utilization of drift wood pieces, the need to log natural forest for architecture will be greatly reduced."
See more projects from the Design Academy graduate exhibition in our previous story.
Here's some text from Hsueh:
IM Master 2008
Ama (Hsueh, Hung-Pin)
The intensive logging of forestry for architecture material contributes greatly to global CO2 emissions. The forests are logged in search for big timber that is suitable for architectural constructions. It can be said the derived demand for large timber comes from the requirements dictated by the design of wooden architectural constructions. It is therefore appropriate to say that architects and design have a responsibility in contributing to global forest exhaustion.
This project focuses on the example of the Taiwan Cypress. Besides the sentimental reason of the tree species being unique to my home country, the Taiwan Cypress has great additional architecture values because of its scent, density, antiseptic character and superior quality when used as furniture and construction materials. The consideration of all these aspects in the project is to pave a road of consideration for the unique qualities of different timber besides their pure mass and structural strength.
Guided in the belief that the forest with their many ecological benefits does not belong to the individual but the public, this thesis carries the spirit of ‘forest without boundaries’ and addresses the issue of how design can help the cause of environmental preservation. By an act of redesigning the basic architectural structures with respect to the forest system, architecture not only takes on a new relationship with nature, but also a new design process and material language.
This thesis attempts to explore renewed ways of construction for wooden houses. It looks at the possibility of designing architectural structures using driftwood that comes from the natural falling of trees, usually cast away as too small and unsuitable for architectural purposes. By designing a structure that allows utilization of drift wood pieces, the need to log natural forest for architecture will be greatly reduced.