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DOMOTEX INNOVATION 36


QUO TE


because he felt it would be lighter and more streamlined, something he’d demonstrated earlier when designing a racing aircraft, the DH88 Comet. From a distance, the Mosquito looked like a typical metal plane. But a closer look revealed distinctive waves of wood grain lining its fuselage. The wood comprised three layers – one of Ecuadorian balsa and two of three-ply birch, harvested in the UK, US and Canada. It was light, strong and ensured a smooth aerodynamic profi le. Fir and spruce were also incorporated into the design.


INNOVATION ALSO COMES ON TWO WHEELS Many years earlier, in 1985, the German inventor, Gottlieb Daimler, built the world’s fi rst wooden bike - The Reitwagen, a prototype sadly destroyed in a workshop fi re in 17 years later. Powered by a 264cc, 0.5hp air-cooled engine, it featured a steel-reinforced timber frame, iron-tyred cart wheels and a horse-type saddle. More recently, a Portuguese carpenter called Carlos Alberto, someone


more used to making staircases and furniture, created a fully-functional Vespa-styled scooter built almost entirely from wood, featuring, in particular, a bent plywood frame and laminated hardwood. Powered by a 50cc engine, he named it Daniella after the daughter he made it for. Wood is clearly remarkable and its uses are endless. Before it is cut


down, it has been described as “a living material not unlike fl esh”. It’s clearly strong but at the same time fl exible. It can also be extremely dense and hard or incredibly soft and light enough, particularly in balsa


LEXUS CELEBRATES THE JAPANESE FOLDING PAPER ART


It’s not the fi rst time the auto industry has innovated in this way. In 2015 Lexus unveiled a full-size “origami car”; a replica of its IS saloon and crafted from 1,700 fully recyclable laser-cut cardboard sheets. It was conceived as a celebration of the company’s takumi craftsmen,


to celebrate the precision eff orts they insist goes into every car they make. A fi ve-strong team of designers and modellers from specialist companies helped to created something completely driveable, thanks to the fact that it includes an electric motor. They insisted it was a faithful replica of the real thing and mirrored a technique they use on the production lines to improve their dexterity by learning how to fold paper into origami models using only their non-dominant hands.


FOR MORE INFORMATION mag.lexus.co.uk


works as


form, to produce toy aeroplanes that can actually fl y. We use wood to make paper, it can be carved into intricate and delicate patterns, steamed, pressed and bent into a variety of shapes for unexpected uses. It also predates the likes of metals and plastics by thousands of years but still stands fi rm at the heart of human culture and probably always will, given that we have relied on it to carry us across the open seas and, for thousands of years, turned to it to provide us with shelter. It’s hardly any wonder some of us have worshiped trees and made forests sacred. As for fl ooring, solid hardwoods - originally strung between joists for structural purposes – has long given way to more aesthetic versions and uses, thanks mainly to the versatility of a product that comes in so many styles, colours, cuts, and species – not to mention the range of techniques used to adapt it. The fact that it’s a material that just


easily in a static


environment as ones on which we depend for transport is, on refl ection, perhaps nothing new. Just think of all those exposed beams whose heritage we would boast when selling a property – especially if they were those reclaimed from ships.


BACK TO CONTENTS


DOMOTEX MAGAZINE 2021


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