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San Francisco

Lignin & Lining

Master of Advanced Architectural Design (MAAD) UC Berkeley- Department of Architecture
Studio Director: Professor Maria Paz Gutierrez;
Sponsors/Collaborators: HOK (lead: Paul Woolford)

Producing construction materials such as timber requires much energy to dry and process them. This raises questions about what and how we should build with wood and whether the wood industry can and should be radically transformed.

Plants’ unique material and structural defense strategies are multifold, spanning from resistance to microbial deterioration to harboring pathogens to preventing water permeation. This exhibition by the Master of Advanced Architectural Design (MAAD) studio at the UC Berkeley Department of Architecture inquires if defense strategies and intentional incorporation of bacteria and fungi in plant tissue, including woods, can lead to unprecedented material functionalities in the built environment. Wood provides critical opportunities as a carbon sink material. But investing in the tree itself is only sometimes possible in an industry widely distributed among many small producers.

Rethinking the timber industry's role is vital for the region. The studio investigated the interdependency of wood innovation from master planning behavioral ecologies' AI models, tectonics, and robotics to material properties of combined wood waste byproducts, including oak bark and pine resin.


Student team: Alexander Arebalo, Maggie Bao, Dimitra Chantzakou, Shenzhou Dai, Yiyao Guo, Zixiong Lin, Andres Morelli, Clifford Vickrey, Zizhao Zhou, Rayna Zhang, and Sihang Liu


This exhibition is free to the public.

Exhibition Hours starting 5/8:

Mondays 3:00-5:00pm or by appointment. Please provide at least 3 days notice for appointment requests.

Monday May 15th 2:00-4:00pm.

Closed on May 29th due to Memorial Day.