Samdal / Wool Tales

Wool Tales

Author: Ina Samdal, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Supervisor: Eir Ragna Grytli, Professor, Norwegian University of Science and Technology; Finn Hakonsen, Professor, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Research stage: PhD, intermediate

Category: Paper


This project explores the material wools potential for architectural use and pays particular attention to the material’s qualitative characteristics. By approaching wool on an applied level, the thesis joins material, architectural and human aspects to explore the material in buildings, aiming to gain an understanding of how the material is experienced. It is argued that bodily experiences from a material and its tectonic qualities in a building can provide existential meaning - and thereby contribute to the material being valued and taken care of. Hence, the thesis explores the material wool with a sensory approach, and this is done through the following dimensions: (1) Wool, (2) Building Tectonics and (3) Material Experiences, which together form the framework for the practice-based research. Through literature studies, human collaboration, design-driven experiments and ethnographic studies, wool's potential as an architectural material is tested in Design-Build projects.

Keywords: Material Driven Architecture, Building Tectonics, Design-Driven Research, Wool, Sensory Ethnography, Phenomenology