Shortlisted for the design competition, Conversations about Climate Change, Building Centre, London.
Like the balance and integrity of tropical forests, the OPEN BOXES garden celebrates the co-existence of different trees of different sizes, randomly forming homes for birds and other eco-systems.
It reflects the Japanese Edo era tradition of Yosegi-zaiku marquetry which was common on ‘secret boxes’ (himitsu-bako). Edo was famed for its crafts, but also for its isolationist worldview with little concern about the sources of tropical woods. Japan only introduced sustainable standards in 2016/19. OPEN BOXES encourages a transition from ‘secret’ towards an ‘open’ and responsible use of tropical timber. The structure can be made by adapting the design to utilise any available off-cuts or salvaged timber, to reduce waste and save trees. The provenance of this timber may be uncertain, but
isn’t it better to use rather than discard it? Adapting design to available materials is hard to achieve with mass production. Could AI/robotics make adaptive manufacture possible?