Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wool Has Firm Designs on a Future in Architecture

The International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO) has helped architects from across the world see wool in an entirely new light, through an initiative which aims to drive a wool renaissance programme.

Members of the IWTO executive, of which Jo Dawson from H. Dawson Wool is Treasurer, met with a number of prominent architects in New Zealand, one of the world’s major wool growing nations, to demonstrate how wool can be used in modern design and architecture. Those involved – who came from nations including Japan, Germany, France and the USA - were then encouraged to come up with ideas to use wool in unusual and innovative ways. The result was the production of prototypes, products and projects which used wool, rather than man-made or synthetic products.

IWTO produced a book to commemorate the project, entitled ‘Wool in Architecture and Interior Design.’ The book serves as a lasting reminder of the work carried out and products created following the initiative.

Treasurer of IWTO, Jo Dawson, said: “The results of the IWTO’s collaboration with the architects were staggering. By seeing wool as a raw material with strength, beauty, flexibility and incredible capabilities, the architects were able to work it into designs where it would never normally have been present. The book which was produced demonstrates the range of potential applications and the creative potential of wool in the built environment.”
Peter Ackroyd, President of IWTO, said: “My predecessor, Gunther Beier, who pioneered this project, recently noted that everyone knew about the use of wool in carpets and curtains, however none of the participants were aware of the fact that wool is an ecological insulation material, which as well as being fire retardant, is environmentally friendly, natural, renewable and sustainable as well as being fully biodegradable.

“The architects were able to use this new information about the properties of wool to develop some extremely interesting applications. New products were created and a number of innovative project ideas were produced as a result.”


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