Courtesy ICD/ITKE, University of Stuttgart Urbach Tower

Courtesy ICD/ITKE, University of Stuttgart Urbach Tower

 

Researchers at the Institute for Computational Design and Construction at the University of Stuttgart, in Germany, have devised a technique for curved wood components that take their shape autonomously, requiring much less energy that typical systems. To achieve the forms, the team leveraged natural deformity that occurs in cross laminated timber units when moisture is removed, predicting the geometries with computational mechanics models. In Germany, the researchers constructed the twisting Urbach Tower, which stands more than 45 feet tall, to demonstrate their findings. “The structure showcases the possibilities for efficient, economical, ecological, and expressive wood architecture that arises at the intersection of master craft, digital innovation, and scientific research,” the team writes. [University of Stuttgart]

Courtesy IKEA

Courtesy IKEA

One year after announcing their partnership, Scandinavian furniture giant IKEA and solar company Little Sun have unveiled their first prototypes of solar products. Sammanlänkad, which means “connected” in Swedish, will be available for purchase in 2021. We want to connect the world by sharing the power of the sun in order to promote a sustainable lifestyle,” said Little Sun founder Olafur Eliasson in a press release. “The collaboration with IKEA is a huge opportunity to raise awareness for energy access and the urgent need for global solutions, while at the same time working with world-leading product designers.” [Little Sun]