How can the competing demands on our landscape be reconciled to facilitate the development of biobased materials in a postcarbon future?
Central Saint Martins of the University of the Arts London, in partnership with Forestry England and Material Cultures, is pleased to present Constructive Land, a research proposal examining the future of the British landscape in the context of the climate crisis. Our fertile landscape is constrained by pressures from farming, woodland, and housing, all of which need reimagining as we move into a postcarbon future. The research looks at the potential of agroforestry to develop arable farming alongside productive woodland and explores what materials and building systems can be drawn from a new model of regenerative land management.
This innovative research will have impact at multiple scales: at the scale of the material, the building, and of the landscape, working together as a holistic system. Our research methods are practical—encompassing material testing, prototyping, and building—and academic, including interviews and an in-depth literature review. Led by Summer Islam and Paloma Gormley, the production and application of new biobased materials, drawn from conventionally “unproductive” woodland material, will be investigated and tested over the course of the project. An experimental timber structure, which will facilitate teaching and community engagement with our woodlands will be designed and built by a group of thirty MArch students over the summer of 2022.
Our research will question the different value systems imposed onto our land, and its outcomes will inform our teaching: building on our ecological curriculum for future creative changemakers and proposing new models of practice centering sustainability alongside materials and people.