We've often heard the old adage that there is strength in numbers. But in the case of a new wood product from Canada, we've discovered that less really is more.Corelam™ is a unique wood product that uses less material to deliver equal (or greater) strength than typical plywood products of the same dimensions. The added stability comes from corrugation, which has been used for over a hundred years with metal and plastic, but has yet to be successfully applied to wood. Until now.
Its undulating form is the result of research and development by Christian Blyt, a Canadian industrial designer and professor at Vancouver's Emily Carr University of Art + Design. It grew from a concept he first explored while pursuing his graduate degree in Finland. He wanted to do something interesting with the most common of building materials: plywood. He was curious to find out if wood could be corrugated so he made a little press to test out his ideas. By his own admission, the first attempts were failures and he threw the results in a trash bin. Luckily, a jewelry designer asked if she could try to make something with the salvaged pieces. The pendants and earrings she created enabled Christian to imagine the potential for a strong and beautiful material.
Jump ahead fifteen years and this award-winning product now allows for a range of possibilities from sound walls to ceiling systems and is available as an FSC product, which when used provides an asset in the LEED™ certification process. Its acoustic and aesthetic properties are well matched with sustainable values that are realized in the absence of formaldehyde and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions.
Kara works as a Senior Design Researcher at frog in Munich, Germany. Prior to this, she pursued her Master's degree in Design at Emily Carr University, where she focused her research on cross-cultural design process. Her graduate work in Rwanda has been included as a case study in IDEO's Human-Centered Design Toolkit.
She remains passionate about exploring design with rural communities and emerging markets.