Experimental Wooden Structures
If used correctly, wood can be one of the most sustainable materials. It comes from a renewable resource, it is a clean material, and, used correctly, it can be very durable. Timber materials act as a carbon store, and this makes them more sustainable the longer they are kept in use the more times they are reused.
Sustainable use of timber materials can consist of specifying the dimensions based on what the timber is to be used for, using timber from non-traditional tree species, building durable structures, designing with a view to subsequent dismantling, using recycled wood and specifying certified timber.
The mythology of trees
Trees have played an important role in many of the world's mythologies and religions, and have been given deep and sacred meanings throughout the ages. For us in the Nordic countries, Yggdrasil, a sacred tree, has a central role. Other examples of trees featured in mythology are the Banyan and the Peepal trees in Hinduism, the Tree of Knowledge of Judaism and Christianity, and the Bodhi tree in Buddhism. In folk religion and folklore, trees are often said to be the homes of tree spirits, and there is the modern tradition of the Christmas Tree in Germanic mythology.
As a material, wood has fantastic qualities. Our boat-building tradition, for example, has exploited this to the full. The fantastic lines, dynamics and precision of Viking ships show the incredible possibilities wood has to offer. Norwegian architecture also has some impressive examples of the use of wood like the wooden churches "Stavkirkene". This vast experience and knowledge about wood must be maintained and further developed. It is important, therefore, that we have arenas where people can play and experiment with, and focus on the possibilities of wood as a material.
The projects involved have all been developed and built by students at Bergen Academy of Art and Design, and invited experts. They are full-scale experiments, where experience and knowledge are gained in a process. This arena is also important in relation to artistic development and continuity, by providing an opportunity to constantly try out, experiment, develop and seek new knowledge, and thereby keep the discipline alive. The project has run for a period of seven years.
Project Leaders: Petter Bergerud and Dave Vikøren, Professors at
Department of Design at KHiB.
The project Expermental Wood Structure has run over a period of seven years.