Early 2018 we silently kicked off the cultural exchange project WOOD. It is a work in progress project in which designers from both echange a slab of wood. The goal is to exhibit the results in both cities simultaneously fall 2018 or spring 2019.
Three designers in Utrecht and three designers in Portland will exchange a slab of wood from a historical tree from their city. Each designer will create a unique product from this urban wood which resembles the cultural history of the location this tree ones stood. The results will be on display in a joint exhibition connecting cities, designers and a general audience.
Rob de Looff creates music boxes from specialty wood. He knows exactly where the tree stood before it was cut down, the tree continues to live and breath through his craftmanship and the musical tune you choose.
Merieke Werdler of Timberring crafts wooden rings from a diverse range of wood species. She can combine practically every type of wood and deliver a personal gift that can last a life time. A specialty are wedding rings or rebonding gifts for a 5 year anniversary, which is called Wooden Wedding.
Thomas Geurts of Tag Woodworking is a Designer, Woodworker and Video Content Creator. He is both a dreamer and a perfectionist. It is his aim as a designer to create mesmerizing patterns and combinations, which you will be able to gaze at for a very long time.
Portland Razor Co. is Scott Miyako, Alex Pletcher and Hunter Lea Hohnemeister. The company’s mission is to bring the lost art of straight shaving to a new generation of shavers. They are craftsmen with a common passion for American manufacturing, social and environmental responsibility, and a healthy lifestyle.
City of Utrecht Creativity and sustainability are themes that connect Utrecht and Portland. This project WOOD is a great opportunity to work with a small group of representatives from both city’s creative design community and combine cultural heritage and sustainability issues in a beautiful art exhibit.
Tafelboom (Table tree) focus on all aspects of the labor process from tree to table. They saw the logs, dry the shelves, design tables and other products in their workshop. All of which are made with urban wood from the city of Utrecht.
Sustainable Northwest wood mill and distribute wood according to the urban lumber principle. They work with high-quality slabs from Portland city trees that are removed due to disease, hazard situations, and development as the city’s urban density increases.
Udo Prinsen, director / curator Early 2017 Udo was part of a group of Utrecht creatives visiting Portland, Oregon. Immediately he saw an opportunity to work with designers on a story including wood design from both cities. The simplest concept he could think of was to exchange a slab of wood, invite designers to work with that and organize an exhibit to present the results. The wood has a GPS location through which we can trace the individual story of each particular piece of wood to a slab with a story. By challenging designers to work with this wood we will eventually bring the different personal views of the designers and the cities they live and work in.
Udo is particularly interested in bringing the story of the artist behind the design. What makes them tick, how do they see the city they live in, how do they cope with issues of sustainability and what is their artistic take on each other.