TETHOK | Textile Tectonics for Wood Construction

Wood be­comes tex­tile

The re­search net­work TETHOK | Tex­tile Tec­ton­ics for Wood Con­struc­tion has been de­vel­op­ing a wood-based cont­in­u­ous fiber (solid-wood mono­fil­a­ment) for ar­chi­tec­ture and con­struc­tion, and de­sign­ing tex­tile struc­tu­ral el­e­ments to be made from it. We are in­vesti­gat­ing the pro­cess­es of de­sign­ing, build­ing, and man­u­fac­tur­ing with tex­tiles made from solid-wood mono­fil­a­ment. Tex­tiles have many ad­van­tages: ex­cel­lent suit­a­bil­i­ty for light con­struc­tion, ver­satil­i­ty of form and func­tion, refined and test­ed man­u­fac­tur­ing and pro­cess­ing tech­nolo­gies, and a char­ac­teris­tic, ev­er-chang­ing, dee­p­ly fa­miliar aes­thet­ic of par­al­lel and cross­ing threads.

Wo­ven (left) and spa­tial­ly robot­i­cal­ly placed (right) struc­tures made of cont­in­u­ous solid wood fi­bre

We com­bine spe­cial­ized knowl­edge from vari­ous dis­ci­p­lines, which must work ex­treme­ly close­ly with one another. Through this in­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary syn­th­e­sis of ar­chi­tec­ture, struc­tu­ral en­gi­neer­ing, ma­te­rials sci­ence, and me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing, we are ad­dress­ing the many chal­leng­ing ques­tions of de­sign, con­struc­tion, ma­te­rial prop­er­ties, si­m­u­la­tion, and pro­duc­tion raised by the pro­ject. Our aim is to com­bine the ad­van­tages of tex­tiles with those of wood by adapt­ing the ver­satil­i­ty of tex­tiles and their char­ac­teris­tic con­struc­tion meth­ods to woo­d­en struc­tures. We are join­ing knowl­edge from the mil­len­nia-old craft of weav­ing – which was de­clared an in­tan­gi­ble cul­tu­r­al her­i­tage by the Ger­man Com­mis­sion for UN­ES­CO in 2016 – with to­day’s dig­i­tal and in­dus­trial tech­nolo­gies and man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­cess­es.

grad­ed struc­ture (left), wo­ven struc­ture (mid­dle), free­ly de­signed struc­ture (right)

The ba­sis for our re­search is a cont­in­u­ous solid wood fil­a­ment made from wil­low with­es. The great flex­i­bil­i­ty of wil­low wood makes it pos­si­ble to turn solid wood in­to a cont­in­u­ous fiber, which can then be me­chan­i­cal­ly pro­cessed like yarn to pro­duce a wide va­ri­e­ty of tex­tile fab­rics. Wil­low wood is very light and has an ex­cep­tio­n­al­ly good ra­tio of strength to flex­i­bil­i­ty and weight. Be­cause the na­t­u­ral struc­ture of the wood is not dis­solved and spun in­to a new thread, as with re­gen­er­at­ed fibers, its qual­i­ties are not de­stroyed, but rather trans­ferred to the tex­tile via the solid-wood fiber.

The solid wood fil­a­ment (left) is the ba­sis of tex­tile tec­ton­ics for wood con­struc­tion. The raw ma­te­rial for the solid wood fil­a­ment are the "thread-like" grow­ing branch­es - with­es - of shrub wil­lows (right).

Wood is one of hu­mani­ty’s old­est con­struc­tion ma­te­rials, with enor­mous tech­no­log­i­cal, aes­thet­ic, and eco­log­i­cal po­ten­tial, and yet to our knowl­edge, a spool-wound wood-based fiber suit­able for use in a loom, braider, or other tex­tile-man­u­fac­tur­ing ma­chine does not yet ex­ist. In the nine­teenth and ear­ly twen­ti­eth cen­turies, ear­ly ar­ti­sa­nal at­tempts were made in the field of wood-weav­ing us­ing short wood fibers and drawn wood (Pur­fürst 1880; Klauseg­ger et al. 2016), and wil­low with­es are known to have been used in mak­ing wo­ven bas­kets and fascines for re­in­forc­ing em­bank­ments (Verdet-Fierz 2004). But of course, time is mon­ey, and to­day, pro­duc­tion must be rapid. In the 1980s, the Forestry In­sti­tute of the East Ger­man Acade­my of Agro­nom­ic Sci­ences in Eber­swalde at­tempt­ed to pro­duce cont­in­u­ous fibers from wil­low for use in looms, but Ger­man re­u­ni­fi­ca­tion put an end to those ef­forts. How­ev­er, they pre­sent a fas­ci­nat­ing op­por­tu­ni­ty to “take up the thread” once more.

The re­search net­work TETHOK | Tex­tile Tec­ton­ics for Wood Con­struc­tion are:

Forschungs­platt­form BAU KUNST ERFIN­D­EN,
Prof. Heike Kluss­mann | Speak­er
In­sti­tut für Werk­stofftech­nik/Kun­st­stofftech­nik,
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hans-Peter Heim

FG Ex­per­i­men­telles und Dig­i­tales Kon­struieren und En­tw­er­fen,
Prof. Philipp Ev­ers­mann

FG Tren­nende und Fü­gende Fer­ti­gungsver­fahren,
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Prof. h.c. Ste­fan Böhm

FG Baumechanik/Bau­dy­namik,
Prof. Dr.-Ing. ha­bil. Detlef Kuhl

FG Bauw­erk­ser­hal­tung und Holzbau,
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wern­er Seim

FG Trag­w­erk­sen­twurf,
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ju­lian Lien­hard


Da­wod, M.; Deet­man, A.; Ak­bar, Z.; Heise, J.; Boehm, S.; Kluss­mann, H. & Ev­ers­mann, P. (2020): Cont­in­u­ous Tim­ber Fi­bre Place­ment. In: Geng­nagel C., Baver­el O., Bur­ry J., Rams­gaard Thom­sen M., Weinzierl S. (Hrsg.) Im­pact: De­sign With All Sens­es. DMSB 2019, (460-473). Cham: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-29829-6_36

Hof­mann, J., von Boyne­b­urgk, C., Tunger, S., Heim, H.-P. & Kuhl, D. (2019). Pa­ram­e­ter iden­ti­fi­ca­tion for con­sti­tu­tive mod­els of in­no­va­tive tex­tile com­posite ma­te­rials us­ing dig­i­tal im­age cor­re­la­tion. Pro­ceed­ings in Ap­plied Mathe­mat­ics and Me­chan­ics, 19 (1), 1–2. https://doi.org/DOI: 10.1002/pamm.201900416

Hof­mann, J., von Boyne­b­urgk, C., Tunger, S., Heim, H.-P. & Kuhl, D. (2019). Pa­ram­e­ter iden­ti­fi­ca­tion for con­sti­tu­tive mod­els of tex­tile com­posite ma­te­rials us­ing dig­i­tal im­age cor­re­la­tion. In: T. Gleim & S. Lange (Hrsg.), Pro­ceed­ings of the 8th GACM Col­lo­qui­um on Com­pu­ta­tio­n­al Me­chan­ics For Young Sci­en­tists From Academia and In­dus­try (195–198). Kas­sel: Kas­sel Uni­ver­si­ty Press

Kohl, D.; von Boyne­b­urgk, C.; Feld­mann, M.; Heim, H.-P. & Böhm, S. (2020): Char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of wood-based mul­ti-ma­te­rial sys­tems un­der dy­nam­ic im­pact stress, Wood Ma­te­rial Sci­ence & En­gi­neer­ing, 15 (3), 130–139, doi: 10.1080/17480272.2018.1501605

Kohl, D.; Ratsch, N.; Böhm, S.; Voß, M.; Kauf­mann, M.; Val­lée, T. (2018): In­flu­ence of man­u­fac­tur­ing meth­ods and im­per­fec­tions on the load ca­pac­i­ty of glued-in rods. The Jour­nal of Ad­h­e­sion, 738–759. DOI: 10.1080/00218464.2018.1508351

Kohl, D.; Long, T.H.N.; Böhm, S. (2017): Wood-based Mul­ti-ma­te­rial Sys­tems for Tech­ni­cal Ap­pli­ca­tions. Com­pat­i­bil­i­ty of Wood from Emerg­ing and De­vel­op­ing Coun­tries. Pro­ce­dia Man­u­fac­tur­ing, 8, 611–618. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prom­fg.2017.02.078

Lien­hard, J., & Ev­ers­mann, P. (2020). New hy­brids – from tex­tile log­ics to­wards tailored ma­te­rial be­haviour. Ar­chi­tec­tu­ral En­gi­neer­ing and De­sign Ma­n­age­ment, 1-6. DOI: 10.1080/17452007.2020.1744421

Sil­ber­mann, S.; Heise, J.; Kohl, D.; Böhm, S.; Ak­bar, Z.; Ev­ers­mann, P. & Kluss­mann, H. (2020): Tex­tile Ar­chi­tec­ture for Wood Con­struc­tion. In: C. Leopold, C. Ro­beller & U. We­ber (Hrsg.), Re­search cul­ture in ar­chi­tec­ture (113-122), Basel: Birkhäus­er. ISBN 978-3-0356-2023-8

Sil­ber­mann, S.; Böhm, S.; Ev­ers­mann, P. & Kluss­mann, H. (2019). TETHOK: Tex­tile Tec­ton­ics for Wood Con­struc­tion. In: M. Hud­ert & S. Pfeif­fer (Hrsg.), Re­think­ing Wood. Fu­ture Di­men­sions of Tim­ber As­sem­b­ly (216-231). Basel: Birkhäus­er. DOI: 10.1515/9783035617061

Pa­tent ap­plied for:

Ak­bar, Z.; Da­wod, M.; Deet­man, A.; Ev­ers­mann, P.; Sil­ber­mann, S.; Kluss­mann, H.; Heise, J.; Kohl, D.; Böhm, S.; “Ver­fahren zur Her­stel­lung von Bauteilen aus Mas­sivholz, End­loss­trang aus Mas­sivholz für die­s­es Ver­fahren und damit hergestelltes Mas­sivholzbauteil,” EP 3 650 184 A1, Ger­many, 19208029.9, reg­is­tered on May 13th 2020.

Linked re­search pro­jects:

FLIGNUM | End­los­fa­den aus Mas­sivholz Fund­ed by the Fed­er­al Min­is­tery of Food and Agri­cul­ture / Facha­gen­tur Nachwach­sende Roh­stoffe, 2019-2022

VO­TO | Wei­dengewe­bev­er­stärk­ter Kun­stt­stoff mit vari­abler Gewebe­dichte für Fas­sa­denele­mente im tex­tilen Holzbau Fund­ed by the Fed­er­al Min­istry of Eco­nom­ic Af­fairs and En­er­gy / AiF / IGF, 2021-2023

Pre­se­na­tions (se­lec­tion):

Contess 2020 Tex­tile con­struc­tion and in­no­va­tive ma­te­rials, Eu­ro­pean Tex­tile Acade­my, Brix­en, 25./26.09.2020, Speak­er: St­ef­fi Sil­ber­mann
Neue Denk­erei, Pre­sen­ta­tions about biobased con­struc­tion by Tech­nolo­gie­land Hes­sen, Kas­sel, 26.11.2019, Speak­er: St­ef­fi Sil­ber­mann
HAUTE IN­NO­VA­TION Pre­sen­ta­tions about biobased ma­te­rials for fu­ture con­struc­tions, Ber­lin, 26.11.2019, Speak­er: St­ef­fi Sil­ber­mann
2. Eu­ro­pean Exchange Meet­ing and Sem­i­nar for Re­search and In­dus­try by IVGT & Forschungsku­ra­to­ri­um Tex­til, 15./16.10.2019 Frank­furt a.M., Speak­er: St­ef­fi Sil­ber­mann
Work­shop Kont­in­u­ums­mechanik by Uni­ver­sität Kas­sel, Bo­gler­haus, 25.09.2019, Speak­er: St­ef­fi Sil­ber­mann
LIG­NA 2019, 30.05.2019, Speak­er: Jens Froh­n­müller

ex­hi­bi­tions / per­for­mances:

Kun­st­loose Tage Oder­bruch, Ex­hi­bi­tion of ob­jects, Or­twig, 31.05.-02.06.2019
LIG­NA – Mak­ing more out of Wood, ex­hi­bi­tion of re­search pro­cess, ob­jects and tools, Han­nover, 27. - 31. Mai 2019, own stand in hall 11, 64/66.
CROSS THE LINE | Chore­og­ra­phy for con­tem­po­rary dance, Pots­dam, June 14th 2019 with in­ter­ac­tive tex­tile ob­jects made of wil­low fil­a­ment as stage de­sign, The­ater Am Neuen Garten 64, Pots­dam, Chore­og­ra­phy: Jean Marc Le­bon, Kateli­jne Philips-Le­bon, Ni­na Ih­len­feld. stage: BAU KUNST ERFIN­D­EN with stu­dents, fund­ed by ZLF of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Kas­sel
BAU 2019 World's lead­ing trade fair for ar­chi­tec­ture, ma­te­rials, sys­tems, Jan 14th-19th 2019, TETHOK on the stand of FVHF Ex­pert Por­tal Rear-Ven­ti­lat­ed Fa­cades (hall A2/519) & of DE­TAIL Re­search lab (hall B0, stand 204).
OR­GATEC 2018 Leitmesse für mod­erne Ar­beitswel­ten, Cologne, TETHOK pre­sent­ed by Haute In­no­va­tion Ma­te­rials Cul­ture, 10/2018
Sub­con­trac­ter Show Jonköping 2018, TETHOK pre­sent­ed by Haute In­n­voa­tion, 11/2018

Press (se­lec­tion):

form, De­sign­magazin, Nr. 290, 12/2020, p. 156-163
H.O.M.E. De­sign­magazin, Mai/Ju­ni 2020, p. 117
Weide als Werk­stoff within the TV pro­gram ALLES WIS­SEN, HR Hesse Tele­vi­sion & ARD Me­diathek, 2019-2020
Hes­sen­schau, HR Hesse Tele­vi­sion News, 03.08.2019
Süd­deutsche Zei­tung, Nr. 172, 27.-28.07.2019, p. 46
DE­TAIL Mag­azin, 04/2019, p.16-17


TETHOK | Tex­tile Tec­ton­ics for Wood Con­struc­tion is fund­ed by Pro­gramm­linie Zukunft of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Kas­sel (2018-2021).