“Impact of Wood on Our Lives and Sustainability”
Human beings have evolved in various phases throughout ages. Transition from nomadic life to settled life also brings along different life styles, habits and objects
While need of accommodation was firstly met within a rock cavern, human beings needed objects for sitting and sleeping needs inside this randomly defined area. Needs, which used to be fulfilled with a log or a rock, have been transformed into more complicated and planned object over time.
Humans started to discover wood at this point, after beginning to work on metal, and transformed this natural material into various objects, which they gave shape by carving it with sharp and hard pieces of rock. They began to produce a bed to sleep on, a chair or a stool to sit on, a table to eat on, and shelfs to store their tools. Transforming their accommodation places from a primate rock cavern, they started to form structures with planned and defined area out of wood, which is a natural material. Wood, which can be supplied naturally, has become one of the most important tools of human life since it meets basic needs of humans and it undertakes various functions.
After transition to social life, human beings’ living in social interaction and in a localised manner depends on this unique material. With the beginning of social life, more complicated settlement units were developed, needs were evolved and reshaped. Huts and cabins, which used to fulfil accommodation need and were formed by throwing pieces of branches on top of wooden posts, transformed into limited places with defined areas. Doors emerged for the purpose of entry and exit to and from these defined spaces. Openings left on the roof in order to create better comfort in the space by getting more light inside gradually ensured emergence of windows in the walls. Need of storing items humans wore and used inside the place they live, led to emergence of wooden cupboards.
Complicated and new needs have been revealed due to this development process leading to emergence of unique life styles, changing socio-cultural structures, continuous improvements in technology, industry and science, etc. These needs have caused objects that we are constantly in interaction with to develop, and also wood to become building material of these complicated furniture by improving through this evolution.
Nowadays, wooden furniture, which is already in close interaction with our daily lives, undertakes various functions just beyond meeting our needs. Wooden furniture, which is integrated with art, philosophy, science and design nurturing from all of these aspects, has also various indirect functions such as providing energy and self-confidence to individuals, emphasizing their social status, relaxing, motivating and regenerating them.
Wood, which is an essential part of our lives, can be classified as either building material or furniture type according to its function, also has an impact on our lives due to its proportion. For example, a table, which is produced with a height lower than it is supposed to be, will cause back pain and orthopedically problems, a cupboard which is not designed according to its function and user, might be malfunctioned. An essential part of wood furniture is proportion definition as well as function definition. Proportion is the key part of form. This is expressed by Louis Sullivan in his famous motto “Form follows function”.
Wood, which has played a major role from development of civilization to diversification of social life, from life styles of individuals to their social status, will be an essential part of our lives as long as the civilization exists as the main building and decoration material. This natural material which will exist as long we exist is the basic sustainable material with zero and even negative ecological footprint if certain principles are applied.
If we should clarify the relation between wood and sustainability by definition, the simplest definition of sustainability is “the use of real and limited sources in recycling and disposal processes with a conscious planning by taking ecological balance into consideration”. “Sustainability can be achieved through using sources which nature can regenerate, and attaining the maximum from the minimum. Using wood with this notion in a structure means design, planning and implementation with a renewable and recyclable source”.
If sustainable wooden furniture and building materials are preferred by conscious consumers, supply will be reshaped according to this demand. In order to maintain sustainability in wood production, materials with a possibility to be recycled should be used; while selecting types of trees, those that grow fast should be preferred; by preferring local products, carbon emission emerged in freight and supply processes should be minimized; environmental impact of material from the very start to the end of its life should be considered; production principles, raw material supply and waste management plans of semi-product suppliers should be investigated and preferred accordingly.
All these preferences can gain value with a successful forest management. Forestry under control, should be followed up with due certificates from tree-cutting until supply process, and forestation practices should be pursued decisively.
Wood, which has a negative carbon footprint, is an ideal material in terms of heat and sound insulation, compared to other building materials. In Finland, 70% surface area of which consists of forest land, 80% of houses are made out of wood. The best examples of wooden buildings in our country are SAFRANBOLU Houses, which take place in UNESCO World Heritage List. At the present time, it is possible to build multi-storey structures out of wood thanks to developing technology and engineering principles. However, in order for these structures to be developed and preferred, they should be promoted and supported. World Architecture Festival (WAF), has included “Wood Excellence Prize” into its award programme, and with this civil initiative, displayed one of the best examples of this support.
Thanks to biophile, humans are inclined to natural things and this will enable wood to be an everlasting and increasingly valuable material.
As Qzens Furniture & Interior Design family, we strive to minimize our ecological footprint regarding furniture and buildings we produce in the light of these principles in order to leave a viable environment for future generations. We regard that it is our duty to convey this awareness to our partners that we have had the chance to work with and our stakeholders in the sector.
Qzens Furniture & Interıor Desıgn