Type.       Curation of International Exhibition

Status.     Underway, Exhibition Opening March 2021

Location.  Ireland & Estonia


Image: Aet Ader

The Estonian Association of Architects (EAA), Estonian Centre for Architecture (ECA) and Irish Architecture Foundation (IAF) have announced “There is a forest in my backyard but my house is built from trees grown far away” as the winning proposal of the Wood Works Curatorial Team Competition.


The winning proposal is curated by Estonian-Irish architects team: Aet Ader, Helmi Marie Langsepp and Mari Möldre (all b210 Architects, Tallinn) and St John Walsh (Alder Architects, Dublin). Wood Works winning proposal “There is a forest in my backyard but my house is built from trees grown far away” is a call for noticing and creating variety in a world that is otherwise striving for common standardised values.


Timber is often treated similarly to other inanimate building materials, yet each tree is unique, their growth impacted by many factors such as the earth, wind, climate and topography, as well as man. To produce timber elements that are both transportable and modulated for construction, a standardisation process is undertaken, during which a tree is cut back to common increments. The curators wish to explore this act of transformation across the life cycle of timber; from the extraction to transportation, standardisation to encapsulation in construction, and disassembly for potential reuse.


What are the demands of the building industry for wood materials and what are the limitations and opportunities of this? Is such an abstraction necessary for a designer? What opportunity exists to interpret and reuse standardised material extracted from existing sources following deconstruction?


“There is a forest in my backyard but my house is built from trees grown far away” aims to be an engaging exhibition featuring a number of themes or branches, which will allow exhibitors to respond to this condition across the life-cycle of the material from cradle to cradle. Speculations will touch on all aspects of the building process itself through workshops facilitating collaboration, exchange and transport of exhibits.


The current uncertain status of the world will guide the process with a physical exchange of models and ideas by post is proposed. Here the act of transfer becomes a reflective action and an important part of the exhibition, where the container or vessel is as much an artefact of the process as the contents.


The Wood Works is an Estonian and Irish collaboration that focuses on the use of wood in design and construction in architecture. The result of the Wood Works project will be a travelling exhibition which will be opened at Solstice Art Centre in Ireland at the end of March 2021. The Wood Works project is supported by the European Regional Development Fund through the Enterprise Estonia.