Digital design challenges practical sheet metal craftsmanship

During the fall, FOJAB architects began a sheet metal folding project in close collaboration with the sheet metal company Plåtexpressen. They are investigating how complex form and geometry can arise as a result of digital design and manufacturing processes.

The team from FOJAB arkitekter, consisting of Petra Jenning, Edvin Bylander and Elise Lindahl, wants to challenge the prevailing architectural process and approach. They move away from standardized systems and products towards uniqueness and craftsmanship:

- This opens up new and exciting architecture, while using simple and accessible materials in a resource-efficient way. We work more directly in relation to both material and form, so we can continuously control and influence the outcome. The relationship between architect and manufacturer has changed so that we no longer communicate the finished form. Instead, we deliver a pattern, a set of instructions, which when executed will result in the desired shape.

Sheet metal has been chosen because it is a material with many possibilities for variation, expression and use.

- "In this project, we wanted to investigate how sheet materials behave when folded along a line of curvature. The curved folding makes the material increase its performativity, both in terms of structural stability and visual expression, says Petra Jenning. A basic prerequisite was that the material could be bent by applying force only. When we had to do full-scale tests, sheet metal seemed an obvious choice.

In collaboration with Plåtexpressen, the team at FOJAB arkitekter explores an integrated design and production process that goes beyond standardized products and components.

- "We see great potential in future developments in terms of manufacturing processes, resource efficiency and sustainability. It is important to find working methods and processes where we can link our digital tools closer to the actual production," says Petra Jenning.

The project is conducted within FOJAB arkitekter's Computational Design competence area, led by Petra Jenning. At PLÅT16, the sheet metal folding project will be presented by Petra Jenning, Edvin Bylander and Elise Lindahl.