Structural Tambour

June 29, 2010
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Wood-fabric hybrid tambour

Designer Hongtao Zhou invented this structural tambour in 2008 in Madison, Wisconsin and made his first bench from this new structure. The idea of structural tambour came from decorative Chinese bamboo strips. Dr. Zhou developed the idea into an engineered structure with strong fabric stapled or bonded on the back of wood strips. In this way, the Structural Tambour is given flexibility as well as the strength so that it can be used for functional furniture design, feature walls, sculpture installations, and temporary footbridges. The advantage of the structure is that it can be made of scrap wood or small diameter wood to form a larger structural curved surface with both flexibility and stability. It can also be rolled up for storage or transportation after usage.

Contact: University of Wisconsin—Madison, Madison, WI, USA.

For more information, see Transmaterial 3: A Catalog of Materials that Redefine our Physical Environment

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