New Wood Open Architecture Atlas launches

The platform developed by architectural researchers at X University (formerly Ryerson, renaming in progress) documents participation-oriented projects centered on wood tectonics, assemblies, joinery and finishes.

Researchers at X University (formerly Ryerson, renaming in progress) have launched the New Wood Open Architecture (NWOA) Atlas. The atlas is an open platform documenting participation-oriented projects centered on wood tectonics, assemblies, joinery and finishes. The project’s research team included Paul Floerke, Vivian Nyachira Kinuthia, and Michael Plummer. 

“[The projects] meaningfully involve the dweller in the ongoing spatial design, building and maintenance of their dwelling,” says the team of researchers. “Through physical engagement with building with wood, dwellers form a sincere and lasting relationship with their environment, with their home.”

The approach of the NWOA Atlas blends theory and practice. On one hand, it aims at creating common ground; on the other, it considers the practical relevance and specificity of particular construction situations.

According to the research team, the collected projects show how design processes are experienced in their relationships to the human being, showing continuity in basic principles without excluding individuality.

“The descriptions and analyses are partial answers to formulating a better, more humane, more environmentally friendly world,” says the team.

The spoke diagram visualizes the openness of each case study by assigning a point along each spindle, based on how the design addresses various criteria. The inner ring marks low engagement with criterion, while the outer ring marks a high level of engagement.

A gradient between passive and active involvement is divided into primary areas of influence where the inhabitant is involved in the architecture. Active involvement includes a high level of control and influence over the primary architectural aspects of a project; while passive involvement is the base level where the inhabitant has influence over a limited number of architectural elements.