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Supervisor: Dr Michael Ramage

Ana Gatoo


Research overview:

Digital design and fabrication are changing the relationship between design and construction. New methods are giving rise to innovative ways of thinking about architecture. This project aims to expand timber structural applications through digital design for future sustainable and affordable cities. Timber is a sustainable material with excellent structural properties. Through offsite digital fabrication and fast on site assembly, it could reduce not only construction time but also emissions, cost, transport and the weight of buildings. The development of the construction sector is well behind the automotive or aerospace industries. The CO2 emissions of the sector account for almost a 40% of the global emissions. Harvesting timber from sustainable forests gives space for new planting, leading to continued carbon uptake, allowing increasing timber infrastructure to store evermore carbon. The UN Declaration of the Human Rights stipulates the right for adequate living, however more than a billion people do not have access to adequate housing. With a much needed environmental change in our way of living and improvement on housing standards, digital timber could be the answer to the design of new affordable and environmental cities.



Ana is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Natural Material Innovation where she previously worked as a researcher for three years, developing structural bamboo products as well as better housing in informal settlements. Ana is a partner at Light Earth Designs, a Board Advisor for Prospectives Journal, and a Committee Advisor for REDER Journal. She holds a Bachelor in Engineering 

and a Masters in Architecture. She has worked for INGOs on emergency architecture and disaster response in various countries.