MIT researchers aim to support the circular economy of materials by upcycling discarded tree forks and other waste materials. Three possible distributions of the researchers’ tree fork inventory within a target architectural structure. The green-colored forks are well matched with their design node; the red forks are poorly matched. The global matching score of the bottom option is lower than those of the top and middle options. The bottom option thus makes better use of the available forks as load-bearing joints.At the Autodesk Boston Technology Center Build Space, a robotic arm automatically pushes a tree fork through a band saw in different orientations, guided by computer-generated instructions. Ultimately, each tree fork will interface well with its neighboring straight timbers, with marks and drill holes for the structural connections, making assembly straightforward.MIT researchers produced and installed this structure on the MIT campus using waste tree forks as structural elements. In the future, they plan to use their process to design and build a complete outdoor pavilion, which will be located at the site of the felled trees from which the wood forks were recovered.In summer 2021, MIT Facilities took down a number of trees to make way for the new music building. Associate Professor Caitlin Mueller and her team received the felled trees to further their research on the use of salvaged materials in architecture.This research was supported by MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning via the HASS Award.