BEC Bilbao, 11 & 12 March 2020

Features and seminars 2019


Future Woods. Earth & Mars shows, in the case of both architectonical environments and interiors, what wood will be like in the future, both on Earth and on Mars.

Because of its organic nature (cellulose and lignin primarily) and because of the fact that it has been used for ages by mankind, the innovative advances have proven to be effective up to now, though they have been modest. However, in a time where both design and architecture need to be increasingly environmentally conscious, and in a time where topics such as sustainability and circular design gain more and more ground, wood is on the up and up. We should also bear in mind that wood is the only building material which does not emit carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The fact that we are living in a new geological era – the Anthropocene – brings forward a different view towards the use of materials. Therefore, the challenges that wood is facing as a material are linked to the recycling of waste, to a growing social awareness and responsible consumption, and to a total exploitation of the local species. Furthermore, a new paradigm is being introduced represented by the planet of Mars: the challenge for wood will be linked to the scarcity of local resources and the extreme conditions.

During this exposition, where samples of wood and innovation projects are presented, we discover that wood nowadays is not only being searched for in forests, but also in dumping sites. We also learn how laboratories produce genetic modifications of wood, making it more resistant to extreme climate changes.

The manual a nd traditional manipulations, as in woodcraft or engraving, prove to be an evocation of a more traditional aspect in the history of materials, linked to the 'emotionally durable' design concept. This contrasts with the use of a minimum of required materials, obtained by using computerized machines. The use of wooden <<composites>> with biodegradable resins on the other hand is an alternative for the use of living species that are capable of growing materials where before there were none.

Future Woods is an exposition by Materfad, the materials centre in Barcelona, created by the FAD (Fomento de las Artes y del Diseño, an organization which aims to promote the art of design) and led by ELISAVA, Escuela de Diseño e Ingeniería de Barcelona (school of design, an internationally oriented educational and research institution). Materfad is engaged in research and watches over technology that is incorporated into the new materials. Furthermore, it offers all kinds of services to companies, professionals, universities and technology centres such as organizing, consulting and training. The exposition has been organized by Materfad together with ELISAVA’s Master team ‘Design through New MateriaIs’.

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