WildWood — Forest
— A Tree Story
Trees are a vital part of nature. They store carbon and produce oxygen, so cutting them down is a bad idea, right? Except maybe that isn’t quite true. A large oak, for instance, is host to many plants and animals, but removing it allows the forest to regenerate and frees up space for young trees that, together, absorb much more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The WildWood Forest walks you through the various challenges surrounding sustainable forestry and the fascinating ways we can work with trees. Wander through an exhibition of saplings sprouted from various tree species, where you can listen to an audio tour that tells about the challenges and complex decisions involved in forest management.
WildWood aims to communicate the different functions of trees, their importance for future generations, and the value of proper forest management. Initially presented at Dutch Design Week 2019, the WildWood Forest was part of a community response to a violent storm that occurred earlier that year and uprooted nearly a thousand trees in Eindhoven. Rather than leaving it all up to the city to replace them, visitors were invited to adopt a tree. In return, the municipality planted two more.
Yet adopting a tree had its own questions: would you take it home; donate it to replace a tree in the city; or plant it in a natural food or production forest? Participants were asked to choose according to 6 themes: Timber Production, Recreation, Food Production, Biodiversity, Water Storage, or Cultural History. Each theme was identified with a corresponding colour which was tagged to the tree once adopted. This produced a colourful data visualization that became even more visible as people adopted trees throughout the duration of exhibition. It also revealed valuable information on the most common reasons for planting trees and what the public deemed as the most important function of forests. The WildWood Forest further called on public participation by inviting the adopters and local community to join in the planting of the trees, further strengthening their involvement and continuing the discussion surrounding trees, forests, and the local environment.