I Don't Roll - Temporary Urban Installation

Research output: Non-textual formArtefact


I Don't Roll is a reciprocal parametric timber structure of 3 meters in diameter created as a collaboration between students and staff at the University of Portsmouth School of Architecture (UoP) and the Whitelands Wood Project. It was designed and built by a mixed team in spring 2015.

It is made out of 400 meters of western red cedar timber, felled and cut using traditional methods from one tree. The cedar was coppiced from the woodland to improve the habitat of native butterflies and biodiversity of the woodland. The structural form is inspired by the second place winner of the workshop 'Structure in the woods' @ UoP. The design was developed by Guido Robazza and staff at the Portsmouth School of Architecture, Nicola Crowson and Phevos Kallitsis, in collaboration with woodman Jonathan West.

The structure is reciprocal as every piece of timber lies on the next, which makes the structure self-supporting and parametric due to its geometrical form. The form is determined by a set of parameters such as number of tiers, rotation angle, and thickness of timber section. Changing one parameter, changes the whole structure.

The project was aimed to test a model of collaborative designing and making creating the design through a democratic, shared and collaborative method, where all the involved students propose ideas and decide which idea should be taken further.

The project was also set to understand how a co-creation process leads to a great level of engagement, creating a social legacy for a small group of people. Can a collective achievement create a strong social bond between the participants?

Finally, the project attempted to test how locally sourced green timber can be used for construction and determine any structural changes over time. Green timber dries and this provokes shrinking and bending of the entire structure, enabling us to investigate what changes happen when the pieces are solidly joined together.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2015


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