To deepen our understanding of joinery based on reciprocal frame systems, six types of joints were explored and prototyped in full-scale with 2” X 4” members. Our studies gravitated towards two approaches - the interrelation between geometrical pattern and joinery potentials, and between structure and its form.

The first group of prototypes included studies looking at the transitional pattern between a radial geometry converging to a column and its spanning surface which is more planar. This includes various studies of how geometry affects the assembly process whereby tapered joints were used to resolve jointing conditions. Similarly, in the second group, the tapered joint was explored and compared with the straight notch joint. Here, the comparison was studied by the interrelation between the size of the openings and the depth of notches. The third group developed the relationship between members’ angle and the openings of each unit, exploring designs that could be made in a modular fashion. Another group explored extreme cases when the opening of the reciprocal frame resolves into a similarly joint or planar surface as well as assembly limitations due to material interference.

The second series of prototypes included the studies of innovative structures and corresponding form. Inspired by the da Vinci bridge, this compression-only structure was further explored in terms of spacing between members, allowing for flexibility and functionality to be more than just a vault structure. Another group, in realizing the spanning limits of a single-layer reciprocal frame system, worked with a double-layer system similar to space frame structures, to allow for a longer span with controlled surface depth.

These explorations in joinery demonstrate the integrated nature of reciprocal frames in terms of its global form, assembly logic, geometric complexity, and structural capacities.