In this year’s Summer School, we will explore practical and visionary ways of what it means to deal with the limitations of natural building materials. We will come up with ideas of planning and design that seamlessly integrate both: human settlement and natural resources. To ground the visions in its context, the Summer School will focus on a post-industrial site in Switzerland. Wood can take a leading role on how future societies deal with natural resources in a more sustainable way. Interesting findings on this are shown in the publication Touch Wood – Material, Architecture, Future by Carla Ferrer, Thomas Hildebrand, Celina Martinez-Cañavate (eds.) and published by Lars Müller Publishers. The ideas and perspectives presented in the book will serve as base to the Summer School’s discussions.
Through a multimedia approach, the ambition is to foster a symbiosis between the existence of trees and architecture, where one cannot define where nature ends, and architecture starts. On the one hand, forests need to be carefully managed to guarantee constant regeneration, on the other hand, wood being a limited building material must be applied intelligently.
We will visit the industrial area under transformation to directly experience its potential. Furthermore, an excursion to a sawmill and timber production firm will give us insights on the transformation of wood – from the forest to building elements. The goal is to create a vision that foresees a gradual transformation process, converting the site into a unique place with its own identity and history.
Experts from different fields will give inputs and serve as reflection partners throughout the summer school. Organized lectures will serve as inspiration. The findings will result in scenarios elaborated through visualizations and presented at a final event with special guests.