Studio in the Woods saw 60 students create the structures over three days in Worcestershire. Photography and film by Jim Stephenson
The annual workshop is designed to test ideas through making at 1:1, and the studio was hosted by the Wyre Community Land Trust at Ruskin Land. The focus this year was to explore future uses for the timber of the Wyre Forest.
The six structures included an 18m cantilevered Belfast oak truss; a series of musical ‘instruments’ playing woodland sounds through a giant timber speaker and a ‘nest’ from waste timber from the forest floor. There were also structures designed to map shadows in the forest, as an enclosure to encourage biodiversity and as a ‘room for a tree’, constructed from curved timber with no commercial value.
Studio in the Woods is an ongoing education and research project that was first established in 2005 by Piers Taylor of Invisible Studio, and is organised with Kate Darby of Kate Darby Architects, Meredith Bowles of Mole Architects and Gianni Botsford of Gianni Botsford Architects. It is part of the Global Free Unit Network, which has a number of ‘classrooms’ globally where learning can take place outside of the framework of conventional academic institutions, and with power handed back to the participating students.
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Workshop leaders this year came from a roll-call of practices and organisations, which included Erect Architecture; Studio Weave; Lee Ivett; Architecture00; the Architectural Association; Lina Gotmeh Architecture; Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios; Feilden Fowles; Grymsdyke Farm; the Bartlett; Cullinan Studio; Carpenter Oak; Berman Studio; Price and Myers; Momentum and the University of Reading.
Visiting critics included Niall McLaughlin, Robert Mull, Peter Clegg and Ted Cullinan.
’We now have a legacy of amazing structures’, said Tim Selman of Wyre Forest Community Land Trust, ’a lasting physical reminder that points a way to using our timber in interesting and inventive ways.’