Ways of Wood
This project is one of four installations from the 2017 Boston Design Biennial now on display at the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Rose Greenway in downtown Boston.
Ways of Wood, which resembles images of logs floating from forests to sawmills, aims to create a link to the industrial extraction landscapes of North America. The nine logs gradually transform along their length into contemporary interpretations of these raw natural materials, here shaped using computer numerical control (CNC) milling. Inspired by the social sculpture of Joseph Beuys and the specific land art pieces of Andy Goldsworthy, Ways of Wood explicitly visualizes the connection between contemporary design concerns and material sourcing processes through its formal and material configuration. Avoiding the association that wood is a generic and uniform material, the installation also brings together various regional wood species, supporting the specificities and ecological diversity that each of them entails.
Wood is one of the many material flows necessary to sustain urban life. Typically wrapped in black boxes and commodified, the material is often disconnected from any connection to the landscapes, processes and people central to its genesis. While the project creates a public space for sitting or socializing, it also attempts to create a territorial reconnection between sites of material circulation and extraction and the experience of the city, and between vernacular material sources and advanced digital design.
Ways of Wood