June 2015

This year’s Salone del Mobile featured a host of products where timber was a key material. Standing out amongst all of them was ‘La Passeggiata (The Walk)’ by Michele De Lucchi. The installation went on show from April 14 – 19, 2015 and aimed to indicate four parts of office life. Also a part of the Salone was the ‘Rotudna Serotina’ – a towering structure of food plates made entirely of American cherry in a commission for Wallpaper* Handmade 2015. The installation was a collaboration between the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), architects Kolman Boye and furniture-makers Benchmark, and was a massive success at the Wallpaper* Arcade over the course of five days. These are just two of several projects that we feature in this issue of the magazine.

We also talk to Chris Philpot, Make it Wood Manager at Planet Ark, who believes that wood is now on the cusp of a major revival and has truly emerged as the key building material in the fight against climate change. Commenting on the findings of a new report from Planet Ark titled ‘Wood – Housing, Health, Humanity’, Chris outlines the associated health benefits of using timber. In a nutshell, he argues that wood is one of the oldest and most versatile building materials used by humanity and its revival shows it has a large part to play in building a healthy future. And yet, in Australia, less than 1 in 2 people know there are real health benefits in building with timber. This is sadly the case in most parts of the world. We hope to spread the word and impact a change here in the region.

Illegal timber and logging is always a key issue at any global forum for the timber industry. Whilst the EUTR, Lacey Act, and Australian Illegal Logging Prohibition Regulation have gone some way towards fighting the trade in illegal timber, the tide is turning as key elements all across the timber chain have begun to understand and implement the necessary measures in order to ensure compliance. Timber sector journalist and commentator Mike Jeffree talks to some of Europe’s biggest consumer brands in timber products who are not only backing the EU Timber Regulation and wider anti-illegal timber measures, but are wanting the measures to be tougher and wider ranging.

On the eve of the Dubai WoodShow 2015, we hosted the inaugural ‘Talking Timber’ seminar and networking evening featuring presentations by industry experts from America, Malaysia and Sweden. A common theme across all four presentations was the natural beauty and sustainability of timber and this was well received by an audience comprising importers, manufacturers and designers. Building on the success of our first event for the timber industry, we will be looking at similar events later this year.

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