Rich texture, striking color and instilling an appeal to run your hand over the surface, a finished wood product always makes you want to give it a second look. Found with qualities like high resistance, strength, affordability, from being very light weight (Indian Sola wood) to being very heavy (Australian Bauhinia Red wood), wood is full of goodness. It is durable, biodegradable and long lasting. Observe just a bit and you will come to realize how inculcated wooden products are in our daily lives. Ranging from our cupboards and kitchen cabinets to the pencils we always have been using, wood is indeed an essential part of our “furnishings”. It’s interesting to know that wood is actually classified as a tissue, fibrous in nature and found as spindle shaped cells as what we call the tree trunks. Hardwoods are well, hard woods generally used to cater to tougher products. Soft woods also have their various uses. Wood even offers extremes in colors, the blackest being Ebony and the whitest being Holly. It is also believed that tree trunks can communicate with adjacent trees! When trunks are attacked by termites, the wood trunk may be able to send signals to others, which helps in releasing a chemical which in turn makes the leaves difficult to be digested by the insects.
Ever since man has been making “stuff” which would be from pre historic times, wood has served as a medium to make things. In terms of industrial design, wooden furniture has had immense historical context and implications. Wooden materials like mild and high density boards, chip board and plywood have taken over solid wood when it comes to product making. Take a look at the following chair.
You may have seen this chair before. Did you know it was a long effort of Charles and Ray Eames who spent years in order to develop a successful method of “bending” plywood? This chair has multiple versions and copy today and in fact we owe the bending of a wooden material to these guys.
During the course of industrial designing development, several influential designs and processes were developed which helped the then contemporaries define the products we use today. The Staatliches Bauhuas, more commonly known as Bauhaus today was one of the first proper design schools that successfully accomplished the unification of craft with design and technology. The chess pieces below may give you an idea of the very innovations in wooden design Bauhaus was involved with.
Wood also has the ability to be easily merged with other materials such as metal, plastic and fabrics. The results of such innovations are conspicuously evident today; we all have sat on comfy foamy chairs and sofas with wooden frames, stood underneath tents with wooden poles, used lighting which has wood as a material in its products and dreamed of spending a honeymoon in a hut made of wood logs! What we fail to estimate is the value of the material; forests are on a deplete and a lot of material is wasted during product making. The goodness exists in the fact that while each ton of metal, limestone and coal used is finished forever, wood is renewable. (CONCLUSION?? Plant More Trees!)