This book advances a much-needed and transformational agenda for making architecture today through a close reading of cross-laminated timber (CLT) and its material unit, the CLT blank. Both matter-of-fact and multivalent, economical and excessive, the blank has untapped potential for experimentation, innovation, and research in architecture at various scales. Blank brings together texts and work from a wide range of theorists and practitioners who make CLT central to their inquiry and, in turn, suggest design approaches that broaden the material’s cultural, spatial, and technological significance for architecture, education, engineering, and industry.
The book claims new conceptual territory for a material with extensive appeal whose theorization has been stuck in narratives of its sustainability. Slippages between art, architecture, and science help position Blank as an antidote to current conversations about CLT, which are fixated on its mass production and carbon footprint, portraying it as a bland product rather than an enabler of design. The book argues for the material’s aesthetic and spatial potential, conjuring the kind of world that CLT can create. Striking visuals contribute to repositioning CLT architecture though new forms of representation and design responses that continue to stay in touch with pragmatics.