Characterization of the Design Function in the Appearance of Wood Products for Nonresidential Buildings: A Conceptual Framework

By Myriam Drouin, Pierre Blanchet and Robert Beauregard.

Published by The International Journal of Designed Objects

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The rising demand for forest products in nonresidential buildings pushes to evaluate the local wood products offer. The goal of the present study was to characterize the product design management within this manufacturing industry. The architects’ level of utilization of and satisfaction with the appearance wood products were previously estimated. It focused on the appearance wood products available for the nonresidential building sector in the Province of Québec; architectural wood product, molding, flooring, stair, window, door as well as interior and exterior siding were targeted. The case study was used as a research methodology; information was collected through a literature review, web site analysis, semi-structured interviews with architects and businesses representatives as well as open non-structured interviews with experts from the sectors. Results showed that these architects had a positive opinion about wood as a raw material but not all of them were fully satisfied with how the available products are currently designed, concerning both functional and aesthetical aspects. They believed that these products were too oriented toward the residential sector; that they do not always meet the non-residential construction needs and hardly fit into the prevailing modern architecture style. Results allow concluding that, generally, design is not a deeply anchored value in the business culture of these manufacturers. This is partly due to the fact that the creation is under the control of the architects for most of these products categories; custom-made products are more often valued over standard products in the nonresidential building sector.

Keywords: Appearance Wood Products, Nonresidential buildings, Product Design, Architects, Manufacturers

The International Journal of Designed Objects, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp.1-16. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 279.984KB).

Dr. Myriam Drouin

Postdoctoral Scientist, Wood Products Division, FPInnovations, Québec, QC, Canada

Myriam Drouin obtained her Bachelor in Forest Management and Environment at Laval University in 2005. She completed a Ph.D. in Wood Sciences at the same university in 2009. Myriam Drouin is currently a member of the Value added department at FPInnovations-Wood products division laboratory in Québec City. Her principal research interest is about the management of the design function within the appearance wood products industry.

Dr. Pierre Blanchet

Group Leader – Nanotechnologies for Wood Products, FPInnovations, Québec, QC, Canada

Dr. Robert Beauregard

Dean Faculty of Forestry, Geography and Geomatic, Laval University, Québec, QC, Canada