Submitted by Taylor Gilbert, Time Tension Wood is a construction system that waits on nature. Tension Wood is a construction system based on a technique used by the Native American Indians for making bows.
By applying consistent tension to freshly cut wood, the wood will slowly and gradually bend as it dries. Once the wood is dry after 3-5 months, the structure is permanent, and the ropes can be removed. The system consists of brass brackets and ropes with a simple tension mechanism that are used to easily connect and manipulate freshly cut wooden poles. These components can be used to make a variety of objects and structures from a coat rack and tabletop supports to space dividers and small-scale architecture.
Since this method relies on the natural properties of the wood in a slow process, there is no need for steam, heat, or any special equipment. Almost any kind of wood can be used, so the majority of the material can be sourced locally.
This project was developed to provide a tangible experience of time and duration through natural material. The objects and structures made with this system are the result of the cooperation between the natural and unpredictable properties of the wood, the control of the applied tension, and the time necessary for the process. Custom constructions and objects can be made in addition to an expanding line of objects produced by the designer. The first to be made available is a coat rack that uses strategically placed ropes in order to create gradually increasing curves on the top while maintaining a level bottom.