By Joana Sousa Lara

It’s going down and, we’re yelling “TIMBER”! Did you know wood is a valuable natural resource and one of the few that is renewable? We find it in wood-frame homes and furniture, newspapers, books, magazines, bridges and railroad ties, fence posts and utility poles, fuelwood, textile textiles, and organic compounds. Aside from well-known goods like lumber, furniture, and plywood, wood is the raw material for wood-based panels, pulp and paper, and several chemical compounds. Wood has been used as a building material since humans first emerged on Earth and remains a significant fuel source throughout much of the world. Want to know how? Then keep reading Timber.

As we explore our June theme, Material, here’s some food for thought: Wood, one of the most plentiful and adaptable natural materials, is the primary strengthening and nutrient-conducting tissue of trees and other plants. Wood comes in multiple colours and grain patterns and is produced by numerous botanical species like gymnosperms and angiosperms. It is robust in comparison to its weight, heat and electricity insulating and has good acoustic characteristics. Moreover, it provides a sensation of warmth that opposing materials such as metals or stone do not, and it is relatively easy to manipulate.

Wood is also a valuable economic element. This material provides jobs, promotes economic growth, and, in certain countries, primary subsistence through forest harvesting, transportation, processing in workshops and industries, trade and consumption. The ongoing strong demand for wood and wooden products reflects its significance.

The rising global population is causing an increased use of wood and, as a result, deforestation. The loss of many forests, particularly in the tropics, makes the provision of an adequate wood supply to meet expected demand questionable.

Efforts to stop the loss of Earth’s forest cover and increase the productivity of existing forests, such as the establishment of extensive reforestation programs and plantations of fast-growing tree species, paper recycling, and improved utilization of wood through research, could help to alleviate the problem of wood supply and reduce the environmental toll of the lumber industry.

That’s where we come in: Today, we have the pleasure to present you our top wooden picks for this month. From 70’s telephones to wooden bathtubs and even a pair of Gucci shoes, we have it all:

Forust X Yves Béhar 3D printed homeware

Homeware collection by Yves Behar made from 3D printed wood waste
Forust and Yves Béhar’s Vine collection includes four distinct pieces.

This homeware line, developed by Yves Béhar for additive manufacturing startup Forust, is made of sawdust combined with a natural tree sap binder and 3D printed into intricate, swirling shapes.

The Vine collection, which comprises a jar, bowl, basket, and tray, was made using a method Forust describes as the “first of its type” for rematerialising offcuts from the wood and paper industries.

Render of Vine tray and vessel by Yves Beshar in an interior
The Vine collection is made up of identically sized and shaped cylindrical rods that spiral out from a central extrusion point at the base to form a simple, repeating pattern.

The sawdust composite is 3D printed in layers to imitate distinct wood textures and reach strength and durability similar to traditional timber, according to the brand.

The 3D printing software can integrate wood stains such as oak, ash, and walnut, as well as digitally replicate the majority of textures ranging from rosewood to mahogany. The resultant wood composite, unlike particle board or laminate, may be sanded and polished like genuine wood.

Gfeller Trub Telephone

The phone’s case is entirely composed of timber (Rosewood), with beautiful metal call buttons positioned off-centre to the right of the phone’s face. This asymmetrical treatment of the elements may have been a practical consideration to accommodate other internal components, such as the telephone’s bell/buzzer but the result, with push buttons, justified down the right side and numerals set in a counter placement to the left of centre, balance these features.

2013/97/1 Telephone, 'Trub', rosewood / plastic / electronic components, designed and made by Gfeller, Bern, Switzerland, 1972. Click to enlarge.
The significance of this telephone is based on the design of the casing rather than any technological breakthrough yet the push-button dialling and R button for redial are both early and inventive for that period.

The use of traditional material to achieve a modern shape may be regarded as a tribute to the original practice of Scandinavian design, which has used this material for millennia and remarkably successful in the mid-twentieth century in the manufacturing of modern furniture.

In the late 1980s, the Gfeller Trub gained near-cult status, particularly in the United Kingdom. When the firm halted manufacturing and went out of business, copies began to be manufactured and are still available.

ILY – Ai Scooter

Japanese designer, Mikiya Kobayashi, has designed an electric scooter with a chestnut wood body to give the vehicle a gentler and warmer appearance.

Mikiya Kobayashi designs electric ILY-Ai scooter made from wood
The ILY-Ai gets its name from an abbreviation that stands for “Innovative Lifestyle for You,” while the second half stands for “Active” and “Intelligent.”

The ILY-Ai moped idea was created by Tokyo-based Kobayashi in conjunction with Aisin Seiki, a Japanese automotive firm, and Karimoku, a Japanese wood-furniture maker.

The scooter is intended for use indoor and outdoor public places and has an aluminium frame with a wooden shell. Kobayashi wanted to use wood to give the scooter a warm and welcoming vibe that isn’t generally associated with vehicles, typically composed of metal.

The wooden scooter is fully electric, with the majority of its components hidden beneath the front panel and inside the front wheels. While it is appropriate for people over the age of 16, it is particularly developed for those with mobility difficulties, such as the elderly.

UWD – Wooden Bathtub

Image of Madra Wooden bathtub
Every piece is Unique Wood Design is handcrafted. Projects are managed from conception to end by a team of skilled craftspeople.

Unique Wood Design is the industry leader in the production of wooden bathtubs, washbasins, and bathroom accessories. For almost a decade, the company has set the highest standards for craftsmanship and technical innovation.

Innovative items are frequently created in conjunction with internationally recognized designers. Handcrafted from wood, the most adaptable and long-lasting material from the past, present, and future.

Because carbon is retained in timber for such a long time, it has a direct positive influence on the environment.

UWD created DeepWood®, a cutting-edge process of complete wood impregnation. Multiple coats of resin soak into the material structure in the first step, increasing its mechanical characteristics. Subsequent layers form the anti-osmotic coating, making the wood resistant to fluctuations in relative humidity. The last layer offers UV protection as well as scratch resistance.

Every piece created by UWD is meant to last generations and ultimately become a family treasure or collector’s item. A solid timber product’s estimated service life is 60-80 years, and it may be extended several times following routine renovation. Its worth rises with time and its timeless design.

Demetra by Gucci

Gucci is celebrating its 100th anniversary by launching its first-ever vegan shoe collection. According to Business of Fashion, the revolutionary new material is inspired by the Greek goddess of harvest Demeter and is created from an astonishing 77% plant-based raw ingredients. Although the shoes still include synthetic materials, Gucci is looking for more sustainable alternatives to replace them.

Gucci Basket made with Demetra: The Demetra sneakers contain biobased polyurethane sourced from wheat and corn.

Demetra is a leather-like substance derived from viscose, wood pulp compounds, and recycled steel. Gucci sourced the wood pulp from responsibly managed forests to ensure the shoes are as eco-friendly as possible.

Gucci hopes to patent and trademark its Demetra leather so that it may be licensed for usage by other brands owned by its parent firm Kering in addition to its vegan shoe line. In fact, the new material will be available throughout Gucci’s whole array of fashion items, including purses and apparel. Remnants of the vegan leather substitute will not be thrown away since they will be processed and recycled as part of the Gucci-Up initiative, which strives to create a circular economy.

The Art of Brut by The Gallery of Everything

The Art of Brut is an installation of alternative writers and makers explored, published, collected, and displayed by Jean Dubuffet and his associates throughout the 1940s.

The Art of Brut, curated to coincide with Brutal Beauty at the Barbican Art Gallery, is a museum-level gathering of non-academic creators fascinated and inspired by the incomparable Jean Dubuffet. With the recent legacy of a thousand such pieces to the Centre Pompidou in Paris, The Art of Brut is a chance to uncover the unknown writers of twentieth-century aesthetic. 

The exhibition will be accompanied by a weekly online program of talks and debates about the artists, as well as a series of solo digital presentations. For further information and sales please email ge@gallevery.com.

Understanding the complicated nature of this material is crucial for reducing the effects of these inherent unwanted qualities as well as making good use of the numerous existing wood-producing plant species and generating the greatest possible wood quality in the forest.

If you enjoyed reading Timber, then why not read Fashionable Drive.

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