The so-called Wood-Skin is a composite material, which offers the rigidity and stretch of wood together with the suppleness of textile. It was made by a Milan-based firm with the goal of creating a material that could be used in a variety of architectural and design projects.
Wood-Skin is comprised of digitally fabricated triangular tiles of Finnish birch, which make up the outside-most layers of the material. In between these tiles is a nylon and polymer mesh, which is what makes it such a pliable material. Due to it’s texture, Wood-Skin can be applied to just about any surface without needing any sort of supporting structure to hold it in place. Because it’s made up of triangles, it can be used to create any kind of shape and cover even very irregular surfaces.
Wood-Skin can be produced in the form of modules, rolls, or sheets that can be assembled together to create a seamless surface. The manufacturing process is also very flexible, since everything from the angle of the tiles, to the thickness of the wood used can be adjusted. They can even make a sheet of Wood-Skin that’s made up of irregular triangles.
The company recently collaborated with MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab to make self-transforming flat pack furniture out of Wood-Skin. This type of furniture is shipped flat, but once it arrives, a single tug in the correct spots and the piece of furniture just pops up. This type of furniture also needs no glues, nails or other fasteners to assemble.
Another great thing about Wood-Skin is that it can be reused several times in different configurations. For example, furniture made from it can be folded up and stored away when not in use.
Wood-Skin is definitely a futuristic type of material. It can be used from anything to giving a home a more modern feel, to offering affordable and easy to assemble furniture. The latter would be especially helpful in disaster relief efforts.