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Material Matters partners with Wood Awards to present shortlists at LDF 2022
Material Matters partners with the Wood Awards
Image: Courtesy of Seen PR for Material Matters

Material Matters partners with Wood Awards to present shortlists at LDF 2022

The Wood Awards will highlight the best in building and furniture design using wood and will be exhibiting the shortlisted entries at the Gallery@Oxo as part of the Bankside Design District.

by Ayushi Mathur
Published on : Sep 08, 2022

The much anticipated London Design Festival is all set to return for its 20th edition. All through the design week the design festival will feature a variety of talks, exhibitions, installations and product launches, but in its primary edition, Material Matters, a podcast by Grant Gibson of the same name, will host a dynamic display of innovation in design. Material Matters will explore and platform an assortment of tips and takes by global designers on design materials, their uses and their ability to shape lives. Exhibiting as part of the Bankside Design District, the design event will also be partnering with the Wood Awards, in an extraordinary exhibition of the best in building and furniture design using wood as shortlisted for the honorary title. The Wood Awards shortlist will be displayed during LDF 2022, at the Gallery@Oxo, a hyper-visible art gallery which lies between the Bargehouse and the Thames, from 22nd September 2022 to 25th September 2022.

The Equal Access entry for St. Paul’s cathedral Image:Courtesy of the Wood Awards

“As its name suggests, the new design fair is all about how we use materials, so it’s completely appropriate that an installation devoted to the best buildings and products made from wood should act as its gateway in gallery@oxo,” says Grant Gibson, co-founder of Material Matters 2022. Just recently, the Wood Awards revealed their 2022 shortlist, showcasing a magnificent, inventive variety of British architecture and product design utilising wood, all of which are now competing for the top architectural and design award of the UK timber sector. From amongst 200 entries, a shortlist of 32 entries has been chosen, revealing a diverse and highly innovative range of high-quality buildings and furniture pieces while keeping the only truly sustainable and renewable material at heart, that is, wood.

The Douglas Fir House shortlisted for the Building-small projects Image:Courtesy of Christian Brailey

“2022 will be a time to celebrate all things wood, as the timber supply chain for the first time truly comes together under one roof, from the supplier to specifier,” says David Hopkins, Chief Executive, Timber Development United Kingdom. As an important design event, the Timber Development UK will be launched as a completely integrated organisation which can help revolutionise the built environment Both the exhibitions are focused on materials in use and are set to instigate an important discussion on sustainability, the future of design and material impact. The awards were split into two main categories, namely Furniture & Product and Buildings, which are further divided into sub-categories such as commercial & leisure buildings, education & public buildings, interior design, private and small projects, bespoke wooden furniture, production, and student-designed furniture categories.

The ABBA Arena shortlisted for the Building-commercial project Image:Courtesy of Dirk Lindner

Escalating an association with wood in all of its forms and textures, the Building category shortlists, focused on displaying their works spearheaded by a central material – wood. Each of the projects in a discussion focused on utilising different types of wood in elemental references as well as structural details. For instance, the ABBA Arena in London, utilised timber to create the biggest demountable concert venue, alongside an auditorium, rainscreen and front-of-house facilities. Similarly, the Douglas Fir House by Christian Brailey Architects conceives the Canadian Douglas fir to design a single piece of Cabinetry. The little house was entirely prefabricated before being disassembled and then transported before being nestled into a lush green private garden.

The Chapel Roof at Radley college for the building interiors category Image:Courtesy of Carpenter Oak and Dan Paton

Some notable shortlisted entries for the building interiors category include the Chapel Roof at Radley College, designed and executed by the British architectural practise Purcell. In an extraordinary display of highly skilled craftsmanship, the roof was created using 1100 sections of timber and European oak, creating a handcrafted oak octagonal roof structure. Furthermore, the carefully executed timber entrance for St. Paul’s Cathedral in London marks an outstanding entry for the category, which not only highlights wood as a material but also shifts the spotlight on creating equal, permanently step-free access to the main church. The design was executed by Caroe Architecture Ltd. with Connolly Wellingham while paying special attention to the highly sensitive heritage setting. Discussing the Wood Awards, the chairman of the Building category says, "In a world seeking answers to the climate crisis, wood stands out as a material for our built environment because of its low carbon, biophilic, and regenerative potential. This year’s shortlisted projects demonstrate that the UK has some of the most exciting timber design talents in the world."

The Reprise Chair Image:Courtesy of Norm Architects

Some of the highlights from the Furniture and Product category include the Reprise Chair by Norm Architects, which was created using traditional woodturning and steam-bending techniques to create a classic design from the 50s. Complimenting the sophisticated chair design are the playfully inspiring sets of foraging tools and a mobile forager larder for the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital that were designed using sweet chestnut and English timber. "Our shortlisted entries manifest how objects thoughtfully designed in wood can shape, enhance and enrich our lives," explains Corinne Julius, Head of the Furniture and Product Judges.

The Migo Chair for the Furniture & Product- production category Image:Courtesy of Pascal Hien

Among the many shortlisted entries are Ben Fowler's RoundOak chairs, Lars Beller Fjetland's IO Collection, Pascal Hien's Migo stool-cum-chair, and Sam Whyman's Chord Chair, which combines Danish Mid-century design with contemporary influences.

The Chord Chair- student design category Image:Courtesy of Sam Whyman

“With both exhibitions to be focused on materials, how they are used, and their ability to shape our lives, the partnership felt natural,” explains Hopkins. The Wood Awards, as a prestigious honorary title for the design industry, will be displaying the presentations and physical exhibits of the 32 short-listed entries, which have been carefully selected for their bespoke looks, aesthetic appeal, and most importantly, sustainability and usage of wood as the primary material. The event comes in great correspondence to Material Matters, which is primarily focused on creating widespread awareness and understanding of material usage.

Everything you need to know about London Design Festival 2022. Celebrating its 20th year, the festival takes over the city of London with installations, exhibitions, and talks from major design districts such as Brompton, Shoreditch Design Triangle, Greenwich Peninsula, Design London, Clerkenwell Design Trail, Park Royal, Mayfair, Bankside, King's Cross, William Morris Line, and Islington.

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