Every day, as residents of Valldaura Labs, we are constantly working and around nature. We identified that our new home has beautiful views to different points of Barcelona city and we though that way to capture those experience was with a “Swing”. Also, as master’s students we found an opportunity to give the community an experience calmness, to release some stress while connecting with the context.

‘The Swing’ is a design fabrication project created with an idea to integrate traditional material of wood with modern machine technology. The process involved taking inspiration from nature for design, use of CNC machine, laser cutting and 3D printing mainly. Taking in consideration the natural landscape of Valldaura, the swing was strategically located to a spot to frame natural views, to be a stop over place on a forest trail and to exaggerate the feeling of being in air on a sloping terrain than a flat one.



Concept & Design

Elements from the selected oak tree

Surrounded by nature everyday help us find inspiration in our backyard. The idea behind the concept was to use the distinguish elements that identify the selected tree called Live Oak. The shape of the seed, leaves, branches and seeds were our inspiration to conceive the design of our swing.

To give strength and comfort, each leaf pattern was doubled and glued together, thus giving 8 pieces of 30mm. The solid pattern and other with cut-out symbolizes a healthy leaf and a perforated leaf as seen in nature. To give structure to the swing we incorporate three seamless cylindrical sections that connect and hold all the pieces together. A 16mm rope with total length of 10m was used to hang the swing to the branch of the tree, which was 5m at height from the ground. Along with the rope, a Y-shaped 3D printed joinery was used to stabilize the whole design once installed. The Y-shape is again inspired by element of branch of a tree and which also has a pocket to romanticize the old days of communicating messages through letter.

The idea was thus focused on integrating the elements of the tree into the swing with carefully achieving the required strength and comfortable seating space for the user.




Prototype of the design



Rope joinery following branch pattern



Construction Process


Step 1 – Cutting the design profile in CNC.



Step 2 – Gluing and compressing the pieces together.



Step 3 – Sanding all the pieces and remove excess of wood using machine & manually.



Step 4 – Arranging the pieces and applying water proof coat.


Step 5 – Gluing the final pieces together.




The Swing which is also on a forest trail now makes visitors pause and rest along with enjoying the scenic view. For the people of Valldaura who are familiar with it now, it allows them to have time of solitude. Facing the sunset view, the golden hour highlights the wooden installation in the evening enhancing its beauty with greens in the background.

In the future we plan to create two more swings at different location, which will also have a QR code containing information about that particular tree. Thus with integration of material and technology, we can help spread awareness about nature along with serving people through design.


Final shots