Dukta is a novel cutting technique that imparts flexibility to wood and wood-based products. Through the use of precise incisions, the material takes on almost textile-like characteristics and its qualities and areas of application become considerably expanded.
The idea for Dukta arose during an advanced training course conducted by Serge Lunin at the Zurich School of Art and Design. It started with a desire by Christian Kuhn, still a student at the time, to build a lounger from multi-curved wooden elements. Together, Kuhn and Lunin tested alternatives to such known processes as steam bending and layered gluing. Countless experiments showed that certain arrangements of incisions lent the wood great flexibility, but also weakened it. What began much like a game gradually turned into more and more deliberate investigations, which led to various awards and an 18-month research project funded by the Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI) in 2009.
In conjunction with the Institute for Design and Technology at the Zurich School of Art and Design, the Department of Architecture, Civil and Wood Engineering at the Bern University of Applied Sciences, and the business partner Schreinerei Schneider AG in Pratteln, the research project was begun in August 2009.
This made possible a systematic working out of the necessary fundamentals for further product development and manufacture. In addition to investigating the phenomena involved, in particular the technical issues entailed in production had to be examined.
Besides the theoretical considerations, the interplay of design, materials technology, and production process also called for continual practical trials, first in smaller, and then in larger dimensions.
In the area of sound absorption, thanks to measurements taken at Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials and Technology, it could be demonstrated that wavy structures exhibit an especially high degree of sound absorption at all pitch levels.