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Création architecturale et industrialisation de la filière bois : l'architecture comme milieu d'expérimentation des innovations techniques

Abstract : This research questions the notion of experimentation in technical innovations in architecture. It aims at elucidating the methods, stakes, and limits concerning both the profession of architect and the theory of architecture. It suggests that architecture is not a domain where construction techniques, seen as instrumental means resulting from an upstream work, are put in application, but a field of experimentation for these techniques, an essential step in their development and adjustment in more complex situations. Architecture is also an area of critical reflections on our ways of behaving and building, for which techniques are in planning.The field of research is that of timber architecture in France, from its industrial resurgence in the second half of the 20th century to the present. This field condenses, in a relatively short period of time, the building experimentations with a material that was first considered archaic after the war, then raised to the status of a modern material from the 1960s, to be acknowledged as the leading material for ecological construction. It allows us to examine the transition from arts and crafts to industry, the evolution of the methods, of the tools of production, from hand-operated to mechanical to digital, and their influence on architecture. Simultaneously, it enables us to delve into, based on a single raw material, the attitude of cultural acceptance from our industrial technologies – depending on whether architecture showcases timber as a modern and processed material or as a raw and natural resource – between the fascination for technical progress and a criticism of the industrial society.The chosen format is that of a thesis based on regularly published articles during the research phase. Each of the seven articles consists of a case study on a specific innovation during the selected time period, cross-referencing architectural and building analyses. The composition as a whole converges to establish a survey of the different forms taken by technical innovations in architecture and highlights some consistencies in the experimental process, the main consistency being the transfer of innovation.This research seeks to clarify this process of creative and rational experimentation which has its own methods, tools, temporalities, modes of evaluation and of capitalization of knowledge, distinct from the canons of scientific experimentation. The findings of this thesis prompt a new approach to teaching techniques in architecture schools, through reviving their links with architectural creation.
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Stéphane Berthier. Création architecturale et industrialisation de la filière bois : l'architecture comme milieu d'expérimentation des innovations techniques. Architecture, aménagement de l'espace. Université Paris Saclay (COmUE), 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017SACLD001⟩. ⟨tel-01629655⟩

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