If you approach Virserum from the south by car you'll find the small community
completed entrenched in dark, endless pine forests. All of Småland is covered by
wood. Virserum itself was once a hub for countless furniture manufacturing
industries. Despite the disappearance of the furniture manufacturers, the forests
remain an integral part of the Småland economy. Wood and forests are also
important to the sustainable community. If humanity is to have a chance at a decent
long-term future, it all comes down to two things: frugality and renewable
resources. The sustainable community is bio-based. Already in 2004, Virserum Art Museum produced its first major exhibition on the
potential and possibilities of wood. In 2013, Virserum Art Museum will produce its
fourth exhibition on the topic. Spread over 1300m2 of indoor space as well as
several thousand m2 of outside areas, WOOD 2013 will feature exhibitions on and
about sustainability, design, arts and crafts, housing policy, architecture and
building. It will be the biggest of its kind in Northern Europe.
Sustainability is important
The issues of sustainability have been a central part of our exhibitions since 2010. At
that time, the international manifesto on an Architecture of Necessity was
formulated and disseminated across the world. 143 architecture bureaus from 28
countries submitted their proposals for sustainable architecture. As part of the
thematic exhibition “If We Want To”, the Art Museum displayed 42 of these projects.
For 2013, the Architecture of Necessity will become a full-scale international triennial
for sustainable community building. Read more at the Architecture of Necessity.
Swedish and international wood construction on the first floor
The issues of sustainability form an overarching theme that will run throughout all of
2013. Once again the major theme exhibition will be housed in the art museum's
740 m2 atrium on the first floor. A room that is arguable Sweden's largest single
continuous art space. The atrium will feature current examples of Swedish wood
construction as well as the world's premier wood architecture.
Wood architecture of the future – science fiction?
A brand new part of WOOD 2013 will focus on the wood architecture of the future.
We sometimes refer to it as science fiction wood construction which sounds rather
advanced. Wood can be used for paper, homes, plastics, textiles and energy. Wood
grows by itself by consuming carbon dioxide (which we don't want), sun and water.
It can't be more modern that that.
If we consider our use of wood as a construction material it becomes evident that
little has changed since the 1880s. Boards, joists and beams are produced which in
turn are assembled with nails, screws and fittings. But how will we build in the
future, when all the materials are expensive and iron even more so?
Surely we can make use of more types of wood than merely pine and spruce! When
the pulp mills switch from producing paper pulp to producing textile pulp, for
example, aspen has become an important resource. Perhaps we will grow
construction elements in the future? Maybe we will assemble homes pre-cut by
advanced machinery in a factory. It arrives to the construction site as a kit where
the parts fit together as one of those wooden cubes? Or perhaps we will cast our
house in biocomposites – so called wood plastic? Or – we will begin to learn from
nature how to build super strong and lightweight structures …
Pretty exciting stuff, no?
On the first floor, visitors will also find art, whilst the arts and crafts exhibition “Best
in Sweden” can be found on the ground floor. In the outside grounds, students from
architecture and engineering courses will build all manner of exciting
More than just exhibitions
WOOD 2013 will be more than just exhibitions. Professionals will gather in Virserum
on 26 and 27 June for WOOD SUMMIT SMÅLAND to discuss and learn about wood
construction and architecture. The winners of the call for an Architecture of Necessity
will also be announced during this event. The entire summer will be packed with
programmes and courses. There will be arts and crafts workshops as well as
The exhibition will be accompanied by a supplement to Dagens Nyheter, Sweden's
biggest daily broadsheet, and a catalogue will be produced.
Wood across Småland!
2013 is all about wood throughout Småland. The three counties of Småland have
decided to inject major investments in the timber industry. Among other things, a
project entitled “The year of wood in the county” will be implemented. Virserum Art
Museum will similarly organise “The year of wood in schools”.
Wood the heart of Småland
Wood the heart of Småland is the collective term for raw materials, education,
research, development, enterprise and humans as a basis for sustainable
development. The work will be driven by the respective counties and local
governments in Småland, the Linnaeus University, Jönköping University, Träcentrum
in Nässjö, Möbelriket in Lammhult and Virserum Art Museum.
For further information, please go to the Architecture of Necessity.
Read more in our 2013 and 2012 newsletters.
newsletter 6 2013 Setra Group supports WOOD 2013 as gold
newsletter 5 2013 Tyin Tegnestue Architects visits Wood
2013 What about the bio based society - wood architecture for the future and
the world's premier wood architecture.
2013 AIX Architects new partner.
2013 Chinese Architectural Journal new mediapartner.
2012 An open invitation to universities and colleges.
2012 Announcement of the Architecture of Necessity 2010 honorary
you can download a PDF detailing the 2010 Chalmers University of Technology
View of second floor
A new bridge
Mattias Härenstam No sound
View of the Architecture of Necessity
World´s premier wood architecture
Sphere on the biobased society
Compact living for students