This pavilion is the culmination of a semester’s research into a novel digital fabrication technique by a team of graduate students in the MIT Department of Architecture. The design of the pavilion is the result of an old technique reinvented using digital strategies and tools. Kerfing, the cutting of wood to add flexibility, has a long history in wood working. Our research combined the material logic of kerfing with the flexibility of parametric modeling and the accuracy of a CNC router. Our parametric model integrated all the digital steps in the modeling and fabrication process, from initial control over the global form to the unrolling and generation of the cut patterns required to make each unit. The patterns allow the plywood to be bent into a predictable shape without the use of additional tools or techniques.The pavilion is a manifestation of new possibilities for design and construction.
The Dragon Skin Pavilion by LEAD is an architectural installation designed and built for the 2011-12 Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture. The structure challenges and explores the spatial, tactile, and material possibilities that architecture can offer by revolutions in digital fabrication and manufacturing technology. It inspires passers-by to reimagine the space we live in today if tomorrow’s technologies are combined with industries present in this region – “made in Hong Kong”, and later “made in China”. The installation is a highly experimental temporary structure designed from 163 unique pieces of post-formable plywood, a brand new and environmentally friendly material.