Inaugural MMTD Class Kicks Off Online

In parallel to MAEBB, the inaugural year of the online Master in Mass Timber Design program began three weeks ago. With 17 students situated all over the globe, the online program has opened the door to share knowledge with the next generation of timber experts from the comfort of their own offices and homes.

MMTD classes this module focus on single housing prototypes and case studies, looking at the potential of mass timber in construction at a small scale.

Elena Orte and Guillermo Sevillano of SUMA are asking students in their Structural Seedlings studio to think about structure as an integral part of a building, while simultaneously being governed by physics and entangled in the logics of ecology, forming a whole organism. They are encouraging students to gain agency over the structural and engineering components of the built environment. They express that it is the task of our time to redesign our relationship to the built environment by understanding the need to be holistic in our understanding of the entire design and construction process, from material sourcing to manufacturing to building life cycles.

Students have been asked to pick their own site and constraints, some of which have a personal connection to the context where they are working and living. These constraints include climate, site conditions, and topography, which will be in dialogue with their chosen housing typology. The students started off with two possible structural prototypes, and in the last week have narrowed down to focus on one option which they will carry forward through the semester with a series of exercises and models, along with a short written retroactive manifesto, sowing the seeds for future projects which take structural questions under architectural consideration.