Words on Wood
S3E3: Timber Education with John Makepeace and Helen Welch
In this episode we look into the social aspects of wood and how timber education is approached across different levels: from amateur enthusiasts, through to academia and university education. This episode includes an interview with celebrated woodworker John Makepeace and Helen Welch, founder of The London Furniture School, and asks whether design education currently provides students with a sufficiently full, sophisticated picture of wood’s ecological entanglements, the variations between species, and the environmental impact of the material.
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3. Making shorts: Chainsaw carving14:44Building on the success of previous seasons’ ‘Tree Shorts’, this season introduces a new series of ‘Making Shorts’. These bite-sized episodes zoom into production techniques for timber, providing concise case studies through interviews with designers on the making processes behind specific projects. In this episode, we speak with Norwegian designer-maker Anna Maria Øfstedal Eng about creating furniture with a chainsaw and her experience working with American maple in a recent AHEC project.
2. Making shorts: CNC milling19:23Building on the success of previous seasons’ ‘Tree Shorts’, this season introduces a new series of ‘Making Shorts’. These bite-sized episodes zoom into production techniques for timber, providing concise case studies through interviews with designers on the making processes behind specific projects. Travelling to Australia, the first Making Short of the season focuses on CNC milling, tracing its connections to traditional hand carving methods. Designer Trent Jansen and Tanya Singer and Errol Evans, First Nations woodworkers and artists, explain how they employed high-tech milling machines to create a series of sculptural furniture that tell stories about the climate crisis.
1. S4E1: The Value of Veneers with Cathy Danzer, Rio Kobayashi and Jorge Penadés28:12Delving deep into the world of wood, featuring unexpected and timely topics from across forestry, architecture and design, the award-winning podcast Words on Wood has returned for a fourth season.A collaboration between the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) and Disegno, Words on Wood launched in 2021 as an upfront and wide-ranging end-to-end exploration of all things wood-related, from forestry and processing to design and disposal. Venturing into the world’s forests, sites of timber production, and design and architecture studios, the podcast examines how multiple industries intersect through a single material. Each episode is structured around interviews with leading architects, designers, educators, manufacturers, and forestry professionals who live among and care for trees on a day-to-day basis.The fourth season opens with an in-depth exploration of an often-overlooked and misunderstood timber product: veneer. Featuring contemporary designers Jorge Penadés and Rio Kobayashi, as well as Cathy Lynne Danzer of timber manufacturer Danzer, the first episode dives beneath the surface to explore the design potential of veneer and to examine how a new generation of experimental practitioners are pushing it in intriguing and playful new directions.
5. Special episode: A Trillion Trees with Fred Pearce44:30In the final episode of Words on Wood season 3, we are joined by multi award-winning science and environmental writer, Fred Pearce. Fred’s groundbreaking work covering the natural world spans at least 15 books. We sit down to discuss the topics behind his latest book, “A Trillion Trees”, which gives a fascinating insight to how the world’s forests can be restored without planting and following two key premises: ensuring that ownership of the forests is vested in the people who live in them, and to give nature room.
4. S3E4: The Wooden Hospital with Ab Rogers and Eleanor Brough28:36The series concludes by venturing into ‘The Wooden Hospital’. Starting with the work of architect Ab Rogers, who won the 2021 Wolfson Economic Prize 2021 for his radical approach towards reformulating hospital design, the episode looks at whether our existing healthcare spaces are fit for purpose. Could wood be the key to redesigns that create more humane and compassionate facilities? Featuring a group of designers and architects who are changing the way that healthcare operates, the episodes explores the role that timber can play in creating spaces that better support human health.
Tree shorts: walnut15:18In this bitesize episode, we explore American walnut and all of its properties and uses. The episode features an interview with Mira Nakashima, daughter of George Nakashima and now the creative director of George Nakashima Woodworkers, and gives us a valuable insight in her years of experience working with the material.
Tree shorts: white oak15:49In this weeks tree short, we dive into the world of white oak - one of the most popular species across Europe. Host India Block speaks to architecture practice Maccreanor Lavington to find out more about the white oak used in the newly designed Ibstock place school refractory in South West London.
2. S3E2: Thermally modified timber with Jan Hendzel and Kirsten Haggart26:28In episode two, the hosts examine the different ways in which humans have baked, charred and heated wood to create thermally modified timber (TMT). The episode includes interviews with furniture designer Jan Hendzel, timber consultant and researcher Neil Summers, and architect Kirsten Haggart of architecture studio Waugh Thistleton.Words on Wood is hosted by Oli Stratford and India Block, and produced by Evi Hall.