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Cream diagonal oblong on black cover, Blank Speculations on CLT in cream font to top left corner


Speculations on CLT

By (author) Jennifer Bonner
By (author) Hanif Kara


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  • A promising exploration of a contemporary mediation of design using a material approach
  • Tremendous lucidity and boldness to re-calibrate the design of cross laminated timber beyond that which is pragmatic
  • An exemplar contribution to pedagogy and collaboration across design disciplines to free away from the conventions imposed by practical concerns alone
  • Craftsmanship alone is not architecture, the book begins to raise questions that accept the resistance to malleability and workability of mass timber as opportunities’ for architects and designers
Full Description

This book weaves a much needed and transformational narrative about making architecture through paying close attention to cross-laminated timber as a material for today. The material becomes the site of experimentation, innovation, and research in search of specific meanings of CLT in architecture at various scales by selecting the “CLT Blank” as the building unit. The structure of the book brings together work and texts from a diverse group of theorists and practitioners, who make material central to their inquiry, to suggest design approaches that will broaden the cultural, spatial, and technological significance for architecture, education, engineering, and industry.

The outcome focuses on materiality through fast slippages between art, architecture, and science, that we hope will invigorate and expand new discourse to act as an antidote to the current conversations about the material, that is fixated on its making and mass production, disappointingly portraying it as a bland and lifeless product—a notion we want to be distant from in preference to seeking areas we feel were not yet conceptualised or theorised. The potential to see the spatial properties of its use and what kind of world that might suggest is shown in the book, with selected striking visual materials, to reposition its architecture though new forms of representation and responses that continue to stay in touch with pragmatics. Aesthetics of CLT with a connection to wood and art practice is a central thread though the book.

About the Author

Jennifer Bonner is director of MALL and associate professor of architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She is the author of A Guide to the Dirty South-Atlanta and guest editor of a special issue of ART PAPERS on Los Angeles. Her design work, including Haus Gables, a single-family residence in Atlanta constructed of eighty-seven CLT panels, has been widely published and exhibited.      

Professor Hanif Kara
is cofounder and Design Director of AKT II, a design-led structural and civil engineering firm based in London, and professor in practice of architectural technology at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Hanif has gained international standing in the field of the built environment through practice, pioneering research, and education in interdisciplinary design.

Look Inside
ORO Editions
23rd Mar 2022
World excluding USA, Canada, Australasia & Asia (except Japan; China non-exclusive)
279 mm x 203 mm
240 Pages
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