Nørd Coffee Co

The NORD café project is a study in facilitating complex design outcomes, resulting in a visually stimulating, oscillating patterned feature.
Project Name
Nørd Coffee Co
Case Study Type


This project is a study in facilitating complex design outcomes using computational design and digital fabrication tools to manage a multitude of components and unique constraints. Over 3000 individual dowels have been set into the walls and ceiling to form a visually stimulating, oscillating pattern where each element is placed at a unique angle and varying depth/length.

The use of timber in the project allowed for experimentation and prototyping of preliminary design ideas at a minimal cost to the project. Further, the selected species for the main feature element were cost effective. Timber was essential in this project because of the warmth it provides visually, and because of the evocation of hand-crafted sensibility that is blended with the CNC process used to actually fabricate each timber section. The majority of the cost of the project was attributed to labour, as the design and assembly proved to be significant in order to actualise a one-of-a-kind experimental structure.



NORD coffee was designed specifically using timber as a visually engaging, aesthetically inviting material that also met the very tight budgetary constraints of this small commercial fitout for a new coffee shop ($10k total fitout budget). Birch plywood is used for all joinery elements, while hardwood dowels comprise the wall and ceiling ornamentation.

A 5-axis CNC was utilised for the precise angles drilled into the substrate layer of plywood, with the dowels all hand-painted and placed.

The project was conceived, designed, and fabricated within a 3-week turnaround time, including all necessary trades.

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