Wood Mood 19.09.14

Formafantasma, Bethan Laura Wood and Narukuma Architects have explored the potential of wood for an exhibition during LDF

Recycling, engineering and pollution are among the themes explored at an exhibition about wood craft for London Design Festival.

Curated by Italian architect Davide Fabio Colaci and commissioned by manufacturer Valcucine, the show aims to present less traditional uses of wood by inviting 12 designers of various kinds ‑ from architects and industrial designers to food design studio Arabeschi di Latte ‑ to experiment with the material.

To produce Charcoal, Simone Farresin and Andrea Trimarchi of Formafantasma worked with charcoal burner Doris Wicki, one of the last artisans who still produces vegetable charcoal through slow combustion of wood.

"Historians have found evidence that carbon filtration was used by the ancient Egyptians; in Japan it is still common to use a few simple charcoal branches to purify tap water," they say.

Their series of jars and charred wooden "filters" highlight the role of charcoal in water purification, challenging the perception of it as purely a pollutant.

"We first sculpted wood into the forms we designed, and later let fire burn the pieces. It was interesting to see the physical transformation of wood into another material, charcoal, with very different properties."

Drawing attention to the abundance of construction waste, Jun Inokuma and Yuri Naruse of Narukuma Architects recycled wood retrieved from the demolition of old houses to create house-shaped note paper. "When several of them are arranged together, they form a town," they say of IE-Tag. "A building that had originally been part of an actual townscape turns into a small version of townscape on your desk."

Bethan Laura Wood made use of engineered woods, such as oriented strand board, that are used in temporary structures around cities to create her Particle jewellery. "I wanted to explore the beauty in this composite wood by creating a new pattern inspired by it," she says. "I like to explore our relationships with both natural materials and industrial man-made materials. I find it extremely fascinating."

The exhibition runs at Valcucine London at Forza with Barzaghistore,
143-149 Great Portland Street, until 21 September

 

Words

Debika Ray

quotes story

Historians have found evidence that carbon filtration was used by the ancient Egyptians; in Japan it is still common to use a few simple charcoal branches to purify tap water

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