Recent years have seen the unprecedented innovation of new technologies for the advancement of architectural design. Despite the propensity of complex geometries, elaborate forms and articulated surfaces, information technology has left some profound aspects of design largely unchallenged. A persistently hierarchical approach has often led to the generation of geometric information being prioritised over its subsequent materialisation. Through the example of wood, one of the oldest and most common construction materials, Achim Menges here demonstrates how material information should become a generative driver rather than an afterthought in design computation. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.