Anne Beim: Wood could be used way more

#go2wood: In a series of interviews Chora Connection presents keynotes speakers and collaborators contributing to the Go2Wood Conclave '16, 27 of October. The first interviews was with David Goehring and Frank Erichsen. The third interview is with Anne Beim, professor at KADK.

Who are you and what is your profession?

“I’m an architect, a researcher, an educator. I’m very interested in how technology forms part of architecture. On a daily basis I’m a professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts School of Architecture, and I’m the head of a small research center called CINARK, that couples the challenges of the construction industry with architectural agendas. We are working with both the architectural education and regular scientific research”.

What is CINARK?

“As mentioned, it’s a small department with a couple of Associate Professors and five PhD- students, mainly dealing with projects across architectural practice and the construction industry. Our main focus is; how architectural design thinking can inform the construction industry in order to solve present day problems of sustainability”

What are the key challenges for today’s architecture?

“I definitely think a main problem is to make the construction industry at a global level coping with the challenges that relate to climate change and environmental issues such as pollution, material scarcity and the growing population worldwide. These issues will influence the way most people live and architects will have to play a vital role in this, since architecture offers solutions that spans from urban planning to the level of industrial design – from social organisation to cultural heritage. I think knowledge environments like CINARK can bring architectural insights to the construction industry and support a fundamental discussion about sustainable change”

How do you see today’s relations between architects, designers and the rest of the value chain of wood?

“Things are changing dramatically these years. There are a lot of economic and political interests in how we build for the future and how we raise new capital in the building market. I think there’s a lot to do for architects regarding sustainable change, since we’re part of the big picture, whether we like it or not. Personally, I think the architectural profession should take on more responsibility while learning how to navigate in this highly complex and externally governed area. I think we need

to hold on to what we do best in that matter – design and provide well conceived physical frames or solutions to very complex problems”.

Why is wood important as a building material?

“Wood has always been a very important material – perhaps THE most important these years, since it can solve many of the different problems we are facing right now. Wood is CO2-friendly, environmental friendly, it can be reused several times, and if treated properly it doesn’t leave any negative side-effects. So yes, wood is very important. At the same time, wood is a material like any other material. Yet, in my opinion wood could easily be used way more in both industrial and architectural designs.”

What is the goal with the Go2wood Conclave?

“I believe the Go2Wood Conclave should be the beginning of new collaborations between different actors in the wood chain. Everything from teaching, research, to the construction industry. The entire wood chain needs to partner up. We should leave the Conclave much more enlightened, but also with a higher degree of responsibility and an urge to make a change. It could be within teaching, in cooperation across industries or as academic research. As its best The Go2Wood Conclave is the beginning of more environmental, social and cultural responsibility and series of engaged activities should evolve from this. In my perspective it should also initiate a number of research projects that can help to enhance knowledge at a general level and develop teaching in sustainable design and architecture”.