Poster for the exhibition Knock on wood!

Timber is reclaiming its rightful place

The Disseny Hub Barcelona is opening an exhibition focusing on the use of this material and presenting it as essential in cultural evolution.

Reclaiming the essential role of wood throughout the ages is one of the goals of the exhibition Knock on wood! Design, wood & sustainability, organised by the Museu del Disseny and curated by Martí Boada and Pilar Vélez. You will find it at Disseny Hub Barcelona from 9 November to 22 January.

The exhibition, with more than 400 pieces, is presented from a design point of view, but it aims to focus on the value of trees and forests and portrays wood as a key material in the service of human cultural evolution. Among the many curiosities or objects of artistic or historical value in the show, there are spears from Schöningen — the oldest wooden artefact ever found, dating back to around 300,000 years ago — pendants from the Neolithic era, a harpsichord by Christian Zell, furniture designs made of steam-bent wood, and current applications of wood in the fields of aeronautics, automobiles, health, energy, acoustics and construction. But perhaps the most striking thing for anyone who comes in to see Knock on wood! is an actual prototype of a life-size house made of wood, cork and straw that responds to the demands and challenges of tackling the environmental crisis. The collection of objects brought together allows us to read that, since the origins of humankind, we have looked to nature for ways to make useful creations for everyday use.

Knock on wood! has been organised into three main areas: a large installation of an arboreal structure (Materialitree), which starts from a fallen trunk and is transformed into a parametric design, a project by Daniel Ibáñez, Vicente Guallart and Bruno Ganem of the Institut d'Arquitectura Avançada de Catalunya (IAAC), opens the exhibition; a chronological itinerary through some twenty wooden objects selected for their impact on human cultural evolution, from the Palaeolithic to the present day, and which have represented a turning point in some aspect and moment in the history of humanity; and a third area that focuses on the recovery of wood that has been experimented on several fronts and for some years now.

On the occasion of the exhibition, the Museu del Disseny will organise a series of activities for all audiences, such as guided tours of the exhibition for the general public and schoolchildren, weekend family workshops and round tables. You can find more information at this link.

Publication date: Tuesday, 08 November 2022
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