A collection of inquiries in
to understand the world
as an assembly of:





Unranked Joinery

Contested Centers

Cambridge, MA

MIT, Geometric Disciplines

Instructor: J. Jih
Collaborators: Ginevra D’Agostino, Jinyoung Sim, Zhifei Xu

How can we design joinery without hierarchy?

Traditions of woodworking joinery utilize a two-part system, often positive/negative or major-minor. In this exercise, we explore a geometry where each discrete part of the whole challenges the order of the system. Though each unit expresses unique material and tectonic qualities, they offer equivalent performance in combination.

Milled Basswood Joinery
Unrolled Assembly
Contested Centers Starting from a base sphere, several different boolean operations are superimposed along a central axis, yielding an assembly with strict formal hierarchy.
Helical Assembly
A 45 degree helix surface splits and redistributes each form, dissolving hierarchy among the four members but maintaining the orientation about the central pivot.

The four members are aggregate in order of mass, meaning the heaviest anchors the assembly and gives orientation to the sphere.

As the assembly is materialized, new graphics emerge from the projection of wood grain orientation across geometric intersections.

Though the internal mechanical joinery is distinct in each of the four pieces, the set reads as a family due to the external spherical form.

The infinitesimal tangency between two spheres yields during machining, leaving a circular notch: an analog remnant of the 3/4” diameter routing bit.

Danny Griffin Selected Works 2014-2023