© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019. Wood is a sustainable and attractive material with a venerable history of use in architectural construction and carpentry. It also has a promising and innovative future in architecture and design. The aim of our research is to reintroduce wood as a responsive and transformable material for use in novel adaptive architectural design. By combining a refurbished technique of wood-cutting known as kerfing with the use of a shape-memory polymer resin, we have created wood-based surfaces that can turn into precise curvilinear forms without incurring damage, and then self-transform to their original shape in response to environmental stimuli. We developed a temperature-based responsive polymer and a flexible, diamond-shaped kerfing pattern in our prototype testing and were able to achieve the desired results. This method enabled us to design and control the material and its behavior by taking advantage of the micro-scale resin polymer’s effects, combined with wood’s specifically cut geometry. In addition to demonstrating the possibilities of shape memory behavior for wood-based architecture, this prototype offers a practical technique that can be used by designers to create flexible and inexpensive wood-based fabrications on the required scale with compact storage and transportation alignments.