Research Centre: Fabrication and Material Technologies Lab;
Active Dates: 1 May 2015 – 30 July 2015

Project team:
PI: Yan Gao, Assistant Professor, HKU
co-PI: Tiantian Lo, HK PhD candidate

Project funder: Digital Architecture Design Associatioin


The project aimed to explore and demonstrate the possibilities of employing the principle of mortise and tenon joints for adaptable carpentry systems which could be the integrated into the whole paradigm of housing design workflow that register mass customization without loosing the manufacture efficiency.

It explores the whole process of design with digital medium that integrating constrains of material properties, digital fabrication (CNC machines), the physical construction and the structural requirements. Furthermore, this unit exposed students to the parametric thinking and tools, understanding the methodologies for systematic design process that leading to synthetic and innovative design solutions.

During the project, the team employed ModRule system as the spatial driver for the further material design and fabrication.  Then a pre-defined carpentry system was set up as both the material and the spatial host for the volumetric outcomes from the ModRule system.  Students designed the second skeleton layer in three different ways in engaging with the primary structural frame by applying the same joinery methods and reciprocal structural principles.

Anticipated outcomes and outputs :
A conference paper


Exhibition and presentation during the Digital Factory International Workshop Exhibition organized by the 2015 Digital Architecture Design Association in Tongji University


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