Showing posts from January, 2012

Great Designs in Wood (20) - The UK Wood Awards

"The Wood Awards is the UK’s premier architecture and furniture competition celebrating excellence in design in the world’s most sustainable material. Now in its ninth year, the Wood Awards is the most respected award for building and design in wood."

The 2011 winning entries were impressive, I thought, by their simplicity, use of engineered wood products and local species, and the general sense of "normalcy" that is not usually associated with great designs in wood. In other words, wood designs tend to stick out precisely because they are wood. In this year's competition, though, I thought the powerful and important message conveyed is that wood designs don't have to be overwhelming to demonstrate wood's unique ability to convey natural, organic beauty with utilitarian function.

This site at has some nice photos of the winning entries, along with judges' comments of each. Interesting perspectives that are, I think, helpful to arch…

Great Designs in Wood (19) - Classic Woodies

Go Wooder Jeff Wartluft, who also happens to be a classic car buff, sent these great photos of classic "woodie" automobiles along. Since the beginning of the year is also a great time to look back in order to think forward, they are a timely topic of interest.

This 1948 Chevy convertible is a classy-looking thing, isn't it? Usually we think of a woodie being a boxy wagon, but this one proves that you could go wood and be cool, too. I like that.

The classic woodie. A 1942 Chrysler Town and Country. The modern minivans of the same name are almost blasphemy, I say.

How about this 1948 Packard? A roadside picnic in the country takes on special meaning in one of these.

The Brits had a fondness for wood, too. This Austin A70 Countryman was the envy of every well-to-do country squire in its day.

But the American woodie station wagons of the 1940's were the zenith of the art. The Pontiac photos below display the luscious detail that steel-sided cars just can't match.

Going Wood in 2012

Now that you've made all those New Year's resolutions about weight, money, and love that you're going to break this year, how about making one or two that you can keep? :-)

If you feel the need to slow down a little, enjoy life a little more, reconnect with traditional values, and use your hands again, why not try one of these in 2012?

Plant a witness tree. Back in the old days, farmers used to plant a witness tree near their farmhouse, or leave a large witness tree, that would survive generations of their farmstead. We live sort of a short-term, disposable life these days, but there's no reason we have to keep throwing away our family traditions and history. Go to a local nursery and pick out one of your favorite tree species, as large a one as you can afford and transplant, and plant it at a strategic location on your property, or in a favorite public park after you've gotten permission to do so. Invite your family and friends to attend and participate in the plan…