Traditional Building and Innovation Transfer


Farzaneh Eskandari is a researcher at the Laboratory for Timber Constructions (IBOIS) at EPFL. Her research focuses on investigating the potential of advanced robots for automating wood shingle sheathing. She does this with the aim of increasing the durability and efficiency of buildings. Farzaneh works with digital tools and machines to revive local traditions of construction methods as a way to innovate for architecture and heritage.

What kind of research are you doing?

My research aims to explore how we can use natural raw wood as a local material in contemporary architectural constructions to revive vernacular architecture and cultural heritages with the help of digital tools and machines. I mainly focus on investigating the potential of advanced robots for the automation of wooden shingle envelopes, with the object of improving the durability and increasing the efficiency of the buildings.

How do you benefit from the interdisciplinary collaboration in the NCCR? And what do you appreciate about the NCCR?

The interdisciplinary collaboration in the NCCR gives us the opportunity to engage with other experts, and to leverage the combined knowledge and expertise from different fields. The resulting knowledge provides a base to delve more deeply into our research questions, helping to develop new perspectives, and ultimately new innovations.


What do you like about IBOIS?

I have always been fascinated by using wood in architectural constructions. Still, besides that, one thing that I like about our lab is the strong knowledge transfer by IBOIS researchers to the industry. Given the environmental crisis we face today, it is crucial to conduct research in a way to address real-life problems and challenges to build a better environment. And this is what we try to achieve at IBOIS.

How would you motivate young women to choose a career in a similar field that you work in?

Computational design and digital fabrication in architecture have a promising future. If you enjoy working in an interdisciplinary field with a mix of architecture, computer science, and robotics, digital fabrication would be the best choice to pursue your education and career. It’s pretty exciting and challenging. You never get bored working in this field, as you have to tackle new challenges for each project.


What do you like to do in your free time?

I am an active person. In my free time during the weekends, I usually go hiking and enjoy spending some time in the mountains. I also like swimming and cycling.

What food can you cook best? And on what occasion do you cook it?

I never follow recipes for cooking. Each time I make something with different flavors and ingredients, and most often, they turn out to be quite delicious.

This portrait is inspired by the #NCCRWoman campaign, which introduces you to a different woman working in research at a Swiss National Center of Competence in research.