Here's a great, free resource for you furniture designers or architects looking for different ways to join materials together. A book called "Cassell's Carpentry and Joinery," first written and illustrated in 1854, painstakingly details all of the joinery techniques--many of them forgotten--that builders used for centuries to create our furniture and structures.
The book focuses on practical techniques rather than theory:
A wide range of topics are covered:
But the part that immediately jumped out at me was the section on joinery, as I spotted some interesting techniques I've never seen before. For example, here's how to create a wide dovetailed surface out of a series of narrow boards. If you did this with contrasting woods, it would be visually striking:
Since there's no copyright on the book, we'll publish here a bunch of images from the chapter on joinery to pique your interest:
Here Joey from Kingpost Timberworks, a New-Zealand-based custom furniture company, tries tackling four of the joints detailed in the book using modern tools:
You can download a copy of the book for free, in a variety of digital formats, here.