Suspended Remnants

Suspended Remnants


Kim Baber, University of Queensland

Jane Burry + Canhui Chen, Swinburne University of Technology

Joe Gattas, University of Queensland

Aurimas Bukauskas, University of Bath

The Suspended remnants Pavilion was designed and fabricated using a digital form-finding model that combines the generation of funicular geometry with a material inventory constraint. The form-finding model is a design tool that allows the exploration of structural form while simultaneously satisfying
two rationalisation criteria. It maintains an equilibrated structure derived from funicular geometry,
and optimally assigns an inventory of parts containing naturally occurring dimensional variation. The combined goal for the design outcome is to achieve material efficiency through both structurally rational form and minimisation of material waste.

The material chosen for the inventory was utility-grade sawn timber, being lightweight but with naturally occurring structural defects. An otherwise non-structural material, it will readily yield usable short lengths of structural members once the defects are removed, and in doing so, generate a unique inventory of random short members. These are well suited to articulated structures, which, by employing an inverted funicular geometry, only incur axial stresses and can employ simple (non-moment resisting) timber connections.

This research was undertaken for the design of the pavilion for the “Working Group 21 – Advanced Manufacturing and Materials” exhibition at the IASS (International Association for Shell and Spatial structures) Symposium 2019.

The project acknowledged the following sponsors: The University of Queensland, Swinburne University of Technology, ARC Future Timber Hub and Hyne Timber.

Suspended Remnants


Kim Baber_ is a Fellow in Civil Engineering and Architecture at the University of Queensland and a practicing architect and Principal of Baber Studio

Jane Burry_ is an architect, Professor and Dean in the School of Design, Swinburne University, Melbourne. Jane’s research focus is mathematics in contemporary design.

Canhui Chen_ is a lecturer in Architectural Design at Swinburne University of Technology

Joe Gattas_ is a civil engineer and Lecturer at the University of Queensland. His research involves using origami design techniques to invent and improve thin-walled structures and devices.

Aurimas Bukauskas_ is a PhD Candidate at the University of Bath in the UK. His interests and recent work have focused on sustainable, traditional, low-cost building methods in developing countries.

Image: Suspended Remnants pavilion