With the WOOD-DESIGN project, BOS+, Flanders DC and Hout Info Bois want to initiate collaborations between designers and wood processing companies. In this way, we hope to offer designers more insight into the wood processing process and make them think of concrete, alternative uses for woody residual flows.
We selected five wood-processing companies willing to participate in the project, namely IDE Woods, Cohout, forestry operator Marc Goossens, Thys Hout and Vercruysse. In parallel, we launched a call for designers to participate in a sustainable design project, where five candidates were also selected: NAUWAU, Ellen Comhaire, Studio Plastique, Utilise.objects and Frederik Delbart.
After a preliminary process, in which all companies were visited together and everyone could get to know each other's competences, duos were formed between designers and companies. Designers and companies were then given time to work together, develop their ideas, and eventually realise them. All this happened under the guidance of the partners, using feedback moments, interim evaluations and workshops.
The ultimate goal was the realisation of one or more products. These were presented at a closing event in the Thomas More Hogeschool in Mechelen and via an exhibition during DesignFestGhent.
Partners Flanders DC, Hout Info Bois
The designers learnt a lot during this project: new knowledge about materials (woody waste streams), new techniques for dealing with materials, the sustainability principle, new partners, organisations, expertise centres ... All this knowledge, as well as the contacts and networks established with partners and experts, will be taken into account when coming up with future designs.
Furthermore, the developed designs themselves have a future within the design sector. Discussions are taking place for just about all the designs to expand ideas, put them into production and/or sell them.
In addition, some of the wood processing companies felt encouraged to look for other options for woody residual streams.
WOOD-DESIGN itself has no follow-up for the time being, but BOS+ is starting a two-year project with workshops and trajectories, to encourage companies and municipalities to make their (wood) purchasing policies more sustainable.