Danish design studio Christian + Jade has created an exhibition in collaboration with wood flooring manufacturer Dinesen that explores the density of wood and its role, significance and history as a commodity.
The Weight of Wood exhibition, which takes place at the Dinesen showroom as part of Copenhagen festival 3 Days of Design, was the result of a year-long research project commissioned by the brand’s recently founded Dinesen Lab.
Dinesen Lab invited Christian Hammer Juhl and Jade Chan, founders of Christian + Jade, to take part in a residency in which local artists were asked to work with wood harvested by the company to produce a research project and explore the weight of wood.
The Weight of Wood installation is located within a large exhibition space at the brand’s showroom in Copenhagen. This was divided into a series of smaller rooms via sheets of textured paper hung vertically from a wooden pavilion.
Each of the smaller rooms separates the exhibition into three different parts titled Forest and Wood, Wood and Wood, and Human and Wood.
Throughout the exhibition space, wooden tables hold a number of experiments and interventions completed by Christian + Jade using different types of wood that were harvested by Dinesen.
“We were fascinated by the idea that no two pieces of wood weigh the same, not even if it comes from the same tree trunk,” the studio explained at a preview of the exhibition. “This was really what sparked our interest in this project.”
“Through this exhibition, we have tried to work with this idea in various scales,” the studio founders added. “It sort of presents a design methodology, combining different pieces of wood with different densities.”
“What we have created is not only a series of furniture but also a rocking horse, a rocking chair and lots of small experiments that visualise this intangible quality of wood, which is the weight of wood.”
A collection of different-sized cubic wooden volumes were presented in the exhibition, made from 11 different species of wood including beech, cherry, Douglas fir and elm. Each of the pieces of wood weighs 250 grams and conveys the different densities of wood through volume and size.
A seesaw placed at the rear of the exhibition space featured a base made from Douglas fir and topped by a seat constructed from equal parts Douglas fir and oak. As a result of oak having a higher density than Douglas fir, the seesaw will always lean towards its oak-constructed side.
“We chose three different furniture archetypes that require weight and balance in their function – the seesaw, the rocking chair and the rocking horse,” Chan said.
“So in designing or reimagining the furniture, we’ve worked with four of Dinesen’s main wood species; that is Douglas fir, oak, pine and ash.”
“The seesaw is an example of one of the simple principles that we apply – the pivot point is made using Douglas and the seat is made using oak and Douglas,” Chan added.
The rocking horse was constructed from 87 per cent Douglas fir and 13 per cent ash. Because of its Douglas fir-heavy construction, the horse always tilts towards one side, which provides it with a unique movement.
Chan concluded the preview of the Weight of Wood exhibition with a poem by H P Dinesen, a relative of the company founders:
“To those who love the tree, those who may be fighting the tree, the one who plants the tree, the one who fells the tree, the poet who praises the tree, and the one who simply settles with enjoying the tree.”
Also at this year’s 3 Days of Design, Nemo Lighting unveiled a light designed by architect Le Corbusier and a lamp by architect Charlotte Perriand and Takt launched a fully disassemblable sofa that can be replaced and recycled.
The photography is by Claus Troelsgaard.
Weight of Wood is on show as part of 3 Days of Design 2023, from 7 June to 9 June 2023. See Dezeen Events Guide for information about the event, plus a list of other architecture and design events taking place around the world.