Course: Optimized Frameworks for Digital Fabrication

University of Oklahoma

Summer, 2017


12mm Baltic birch plywood

1/2″ CDX plywood

Acrylic sheet

HDPE sheet

Polycarbonate sheet

HRS steel angle






(Scroll down for image gallery)

This small inhabitable structure was designed and constructed during a 4-week workshop that I led. This course investigated use of topology optimization software for the generation of structurally efficient building frames. This software, increasingly used in other design fields, arranges matter in space with the goal of minimizing material use by placing it where it is structurally most efficient.

Another goal of the course was to investigate the expressive potentials of using this software for form generation. The result was a forest of internal bone-like columns, wrapped at the perimeter with a non-structural envelope of thin plastic panels. All components were digitally fabricated using a CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) router and laser cutter. Upon completion it became only one of a handful of buildings in the world that was designed with structural topology optimization methods.