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Announcing the winners of the 'Conversations About Climate Change' design competition

9 Sep 2020

We are thrilled to announce the winners of the Conversations About Climate Change design competition.

The competition set the challenge for designers, architects and makers to create a piece of furniture, sculpture or functional object that sparks a conversation about climate change.

We received entries from countries across the world including; Colombia, Australia, Cameroon, Greece, Kenya, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, USA, Netherlands, and the UK.

The entries were anonymised and chosen based on their response to the brief (a climate change conversation piece celebrating the properties of tropical wood), the quality of their design, and their collective impact as an exhibition. Only six were selected to be developed and exhibited in the Conversations About Climate Change exhibition on 19 November. 

The six winners

Sapele Sound Pavilion by Studio Yu

A contemplative space with a soundscape based on the life cycle of a Sapele tree found in the rainforests of West Africa. Through the light and shadow, scent of the forest, touch of the timber and melodies of the soundscape, the pavilion elicits conversations about our emotional connection to nature and the sustainable processes within forestry, production and use.


Forest Dwellers by Curio Studio

Gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans and gibbons are all recorded in the IUCN Red List as endangered or critically endangered, with habitat loss being their greatest single threat. How is it that the use of tropical timber can be anything but contributory to this? These four simian Forest Dwellers have been conceived to ask this very question. Each ape is made of a timber from its natural forest habitat. The future survival of these creatures, and countless others, is inextricably linked to the survival of their forests.


Tree Whisperer by Sheryl Ang

Tree Whisperer is a series of wind-up instrumental trees, each producing unique pulsing beats that reflect how different tree species respond to rising global temperatures. By introducing a visual and auditory reference to time as well as heartbeats, these objects call us to vividly confront the urgency of climate change in the context of tree deaths.


EXTRACTION: Extract too much, and the system will collapse! by Kashdan-Brown Architects

A tropical wood sculpture made delicate from its over extraction. Vistors can insert tropical wood dowels in the sculpture to symbolise the importance of giving back to make our world stable again.


High Tide by Outline-Projects

Hight Tide serves as a reminder of the ~600 million people that will be impacted due to rising sea levels by 2120. Small islands and cities located by the coast, rivers or other major body of water are particularly vulnerable places. High Tide marks sea levels as they are today and will be in 2120.


Carbon Print by Joe Pipal Furniture

An installation of charred timber blocks to illustrate, on an intimate scale, the beauty and dynamic aspects of carbon in wood.  The wood is cut and stacked in the manner of gold bullion – associated with stockpiled wealth, bank reserves and investments – to highlight that sequestered carbon needs to be seen as a precious mineral reserve.



We would like to thank all who entered and our judges Adam Brinkworth of Brinkworth, Yinka Ilori of Yinka Ilori Studio, Julia Barfield of Marks Barfield,  Andrew Waugh of Waugh Thistleton Architects, and Leah Riley Brown of the British Retail Consortium, David Hopkins, director of the Timber Trade Federation, and Vanessa Norwood, creative director at the Building Centre, for their time evaluating the entries.

Conversations about Climate Change is a partnership between the Building Centre and the Timber Trade FederationSupported by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and The Built Environment Trust.

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