Wood builds and supports cultural unity

Editorials by Mikael Eliasson

STOCKHOLM Summer is finally here! The sun is getting stronger and nature’s own factory for renewable construction materials, photosynthesis in trees, has begun. The process is steaming ahead and over the year will deliver 100 million cubic metres of raw material. Swedish sawmills use some of this raw material and the majority of the finished solid wood products are exported, to countries that include Japan.

Swedish sawmills have been a key supplier to the Japanese market for around 20 years. It has been extremely healthy for the industry to take on board the uncompromising quality standards that the Japanese customers demand. Although there are considerable differences between our cultures, there are also similarities – such as the affinity with wood, the approach to business and not least the belief in long-term relationships.

Japan’s culture and genuine focus on quality have created a celebrated design language that leads the world. We are therefore pleased to present the internationally renowned architect Kengo Kuma, a figure deeply rooted in Japanese design culture, in this issue of Trä.

As we develop our Swedish wood construction industry, the manufacturing process is also developing, leading to a higher degree of prefabrication. From a design perspective, negative comments are often made about this trend. It therefore feels particularly pleasing to profile objects where this manufacturing process has helped to scale architectural heights.

We also follow two international projects, the Woodcube in Hamburg and Berg student village in Trondheim, where urbanisation and climate issues have stood at the centre of the design. In addition, don’t miss the report on ‘Digital Joinery’, which offers an insight into how digital-based processing will be used in the wood workshops of tomorrow.

Finally, I would like to wish all our readers a wonderful summer. Hopefully some of it will be spent in our fantastic forests across Sweden, where the production of our only renewable construction material will be continuing silently around you.

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