Conversations about Climate Change is a specially commissioned design competition, exhibition and event series providing a platform for urgent climate debates. Setting the challenge of creating ‘conversation’, the Timber Trade Federation, in association with the Building Centre, is calling for innovative, playful and thought-provoking designs from architects, designers and craftspeople.
2020 had been designated a super year for climate conversations with COP26 scheduled to take place in November. Now postponed due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the battle against climate change remains an urgent threat to humanity.
Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) is the UK and EU’s Action Plan to combat illegal logging, subsequent trade and deforestation, while introducing forest monitoring, auditing, multi-stakeholder dialogue and engagement with local communities. This landmark shift in governance and procurement means that FLEGT licensed timber is a safe, legal, and sustainable form of timber.
The challenge to entrants is to develop products that score on aesthetics and technical performance. But they must also be ‘conversation pieces’ that stimulate discussion around the role of forests and wood in mitigating climate change and the role of FLEGT in ensuring legal and sustainable forestry and timber supply. Designers are being asked to respond to this material, and to consider how their role as a specifier is vital for implementing change. The ‘conversation pieces’ could be furniture, sculpture, a model or functional design object – anything, as long as it stimulates a conversation about material provenance and its place in the climate debate, drawing inspiration from the palette of tropical hardwood species selected.
Six winners will be chosen by an expert judging panel to be fabricated for the exhibition. All winners will be provided with FLEGT and VPA tropical hardwood and a £1000 maker’s bursary. The winning designs will be created using tropical hardwood species from the fifteen countries engaging with the FLEGT Action Plan, through the Timber Trade Federation members’ Responsible Purchasing Policy.
All entrants will have their designs exhibited in an online gallery and a shortlist will be displayed in the exhibition at the Building Centre in London in November, timed to mark the original date of COP26 and highlighting the vital role for tropical forests in the climate debate. The competition, which is now open, closes on 24th August 2020. The six winners will be announced at the beginning of September.
To enter, find out more, and read the supporting resources, please click here.