Timber Joints

Application of Robotic Technologies for the Fabrication Of
Traditional Chinese Timber Joints

Jiangyang Zhao1, Davide Lombardi2, Asterios Agkathidis3
1,3University of Liverpool, Architecture School 2Xi’an Jiaotong – Liverpool Uni- versity ,Department of Architecture
1,3{psjzha32|a3lab}@liverpool.ac.uk [email protected]

The traditional Chinese building design was influenced by the climate and the sociogeographical conditions of the different regions in China. They were usually constructed out of wood relying on timber-joint based construction systems. Amongst the wide variety of the structural elements, the Dougong (bucket arch) is one of the most common components of traditional wooden framework buildings, presenting a high level of complexity.

Parametric design and robotic technology enable new possibilities regarding its fabrication and application in contemporary architecture. This paper by Jiangyang Zhao, Davide Lombardi and Asterios Agkathidis will explore how the Dougong components could be reinvented through the use of parametric tools and robotic fabrication methods and thus applied to contemporary architectural structures.

Authors will analyse and compare the properties of the original Dougong with the reinvented unit by using finite element analysis and digital optimization tools. Their findings will provide an insight into the traditional construction principles of the joint and how these can inform a design and fabrication framework for its application in contemporary buildings.

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