Timber Architecture Program 'Linking Forest to People'

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This paper discusses a new approach to an education program about timber architecture for a sustainable future and rehabilitation in relation to the forestry industry, the community as well as architectural education. Due to global concerns of environmental sustainability, forestry and timber architecture have been chosen as key building environments. However, in Japan, there is a knowledge gap in the education program for more than 30 years relating to a specific aspect of timber architecture. In 1995, design problems of modern Japanese timber architecture were revealed in the aftermath of the Hanshin Awaji Great earthquake. Gifu Academy of Forest Science and Culture decided to adopt a new type of timber architecture curriculum for “Learning with Forests”, consisting of three major projects. They are: 1) self-build project, 2) local project and 3) intensive design studio project. In these projects, four major characteristics of timber architecture were selected as core educational focuses, in addition to community partnership and local culture. They are: structure, materials, space and function. This methodology has already been applied to local projects in Japan and the collaboration design studio with The University of New South Wales (UNSW). This paper highlights the final project of this intensive design studio and documents the outcome of this novel approach to modern timber architecture program in terms of environmental, social and cultural sustainability.
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Misawa, Fumiko
Hirota, Kiko
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