Exhibition Circwood: Recirculating wood within the built environment

As furniture manufacturers, we understand the limits and possibilities of wood, but we also understand that wood and trees are essential for the environment, so in our manufacturing process we use wood grown from sustainable forests.

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“It may look easy but it is not, you have to gain experience in working with wood. It is a special material, which requires time. Wood breathes, it is alive and it needs a living person.”

Wood is elementary and essential, both as material and as a symbol. We talked before about going against the grain and using wood as an artistic medium and we mentioned some contemporary artists that are doing amazing work with this material. So it’s no wonder that in our contemporary world we still have the need to talk about wood in restorative design context.

On the recently finished Helsinki Design Week, as a part of Aalto University’s program “Designs for a cooler planet” eleven exhibitions were organized with topics exploring systemic problems, pushing boundaries, opening dialogues and creating new solutions for professional and private life. One of those was the exhibition “Circwood: Recirculating wood within the built environment”

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The exhibition concept is based on our remaining carbon budget for this century, 800 million tons of CO2eq, and how it might be surpassed because of the unsustainable use of material resources. Therefore, the recirculation of waste materials for new production is crucial. In Finland, more than one-third of construction and demolition waste is wood. To meet the European recycling target by 2020 as well as the national circular economy strategy, the amount of recycled and reused wood needs to be enchanced.

Wood is a temporal carbon storage, so prolonging the life cycle of wood products can contribute to mitigating climate change. Furthermore, the implementation of Design for Disassembly (DfD) principles in constructions might increase the reuse of wood products.

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The exhibition CircWood aims at modeling the effect that recirculating wood materials within the built environment have on the sustainability of wood use. The exhibition shows how recirculating wood waste is both a technical issue and a creativity challenge.