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Projects > Fabricwood



-XTRA Herman

Miller Pavillion

Material: Laminate

Designer: Produce

Location: Singapore

Photos are courtesy of Produce.

Inspired by the design experiments in Herman Miller’s chairs, this project is the first of its kind, a tensile plywood membrane structure that envelops the the retail space for Herman Miller.

Our Approach

The Herman Miller shop-in-shop is a fabric-like surface that appears to be casually pulled across the entire 8-metre volume. The rippling on the surface increased the "softness" of the plywood making it appear to be stagnant in the wind.


The circular cut-outs allowing for tolerance on the surface, along with the cable ties and rivets are signature of this material system expressing its intuitive mechanical workings.


Fabricwood prototype simulation


Form finding of Fabricwood pavillion

To achieve this, a traditional tailoring technique used for shaping fabric to fit the human body called "darting" was exported onto plywood.


A continuous iteration loop between computation and physical modelling helped to calibrate the darts and their respective angles on a flat piece of plywood, determining its eventual curvature when closed.


Circular cut outs are used at the converging point of the darts to allow the plywood to bend and avoid tears.

Occupying a 20m long by 7m wide space, the Herman Miller store is expressed as a lightweight plywood minimal surface skin that stretches across the entire stie like a sail like a sail of tensile fabric.


Propped up by series of arches that frame the entrances and connections to the rest of XTRA, the street and the adjacent cafe, the structure leads the viewer from the low 3m entrance to the lofty 8m glass curtain wall at the other end.

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