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TRADA Education

Stephen King, Sales Director of SCA Wood Industrial Solutions, comments: ‘We were delighted to be asked to host this visit by the EATTA. SCA has always been dedicated to sharing our wealth of timber knowledge with our customers, but the education we provide shouldn’t stop there. We are firmly rooting our commitment to the timber industry to help engage those responsible for inspiring the engineers and architects of tomorrow. Seeing our operations first-hand will hopefully provide lecturers with the experiential knowledge they need to impart enthusiasm for wood use in construction to the next generation.’ The lecturers came from both architectural and engineering disciplines. ‘The aim is for each lecturer to enliven students’ and colleagues’ interest in the timber business and in timber as a sustainable building material,’ says EATTA Chairman Chris James of Nason Davis. Planning is underway for the next educational trip with industry sponsor VIDA hosting our visit this year. It will take place in early September 2019 and we have three lecturer places available. If you would like to get involved, please get in touch.

Hands-on learning As part of my role, I plan to engage with, encourage and promote more hands-on learning. Kate Darby, a part-time lecturer at Cardiff University’s Welsh School of Architecture, invited me to attend Studio in the Woods 2018 to see how one group of practitioners has developed this concept. Established in 2005, Studio in the Woods is an ongoing education and research project, founded and convened by Piers Taylor (Invisible Studio) with Kate Darby (Kate Darby Architects), Meredith Bowles (Mole) and Gianni Botsford (Gianni Botsford Architects), designed as a vehicle to test ideas through making at 1:1. Each year, the founders are joined by several practitioners and academics in leading workshops for participants over three or four days. The 2018 studio ran from 5–8 July and was hosted by the Wyre Community Land Trust and the Guild of St George in Ruskin Land, Shropshire. The woodland is 99% oak and sits on land originally gifted to John Ruskin, and is where he established the Guild of St George in the 1870s. The founding aim of the Guild was to acquire land and – through labour, wind and water power – bring it into useful production. The focus of the studio was the exploration of future uses for the timber of the Wyre Forest, which is predominately oak and has been unmanaged for several years. Participants split into six groups, and over the three-and-a-half days selected their building materials, conceived their designs and then

Studio in the Woods 2018. Photo: Jim Stephenson

constructed them. Critical feedback on the six designs was given on the last day by architects Niall McLaughlin, Robert Mull, Peter Clegg and Ted Cullinan. The 60 participants from varied backgrounds included several university students. Jamie Rest, who is returning to the University of Sheffield to study for his RIBA part 2 after his year out in practise with Architype, commented: ‘Making is an essential skill in architecture yet we rarely physically engage in the act of building at 1:1. Making by hand and at full-scale forces us to understand materials and how they come together in a way that is perhaps difficult to be taught in an academic context. By seeing making as part of the design process as opposed to "making the design", projects are often enhanced as a result of the happy accidents and discoveries that are made along the way.’

2019/2020 During the coming year TRADA is exploring other engagement activities with material libraries, site visits, dedicated lecturer days and further competitions in the pipeline. If you would like to get involved, or have any queries or requests, please get in touch. n

About the author

Tabitha Binding University Engagement Manager TRADA

Further information or email Timber 2019 Industry Yearbook

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Profile for BM TRADA

Timber 2019 Industry Yearbook  

The annual publication of the Timber Research and Development Association (TRADA) includes topical and technical features on all aspects of...

Timber 2019 Industry Yearbook  

The annual publication of the Timber Research and Development Association (TRADA) includes topical and technical features on all aspects of...

Profile for trada