Dezeen promotion: entries are now open for the Timber Trade Federation's Conversations about Climate Change design competition and exhibition, which offers a platform for "urgent" climate debates.
The competition tasks architects, designers and craftspeople with creating innovative, playful and thought-provoking designs using sustainably sourced tropical timber, in a bid to show the importance of the natural resource.
Creations can be anything from a piece of furniture or a sculpture to a model or a functional design object.
"2020 had been designated a super year for climate conversations with COP26 [the United Nations Climate Change Conference] scheduled to take place in November," said the Timber Trade Federation.
"Now postponed due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, the battle against climate change remains an urgent threat to humanity," it continued.
"Conversations about Climate Change asks designers to respond to this material, encourages them to think about the materials they usually work with, and to consider how their role as a specifier is vital for implementing change."
In addition to developing products that are both aesthetically and technically impressive, entrants must also create designs that are "conversation pieces" – sparking discussion about material provenance and the role of forests and wood in lessening climate change.
Designs must also address the role of the Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) – the UK and EU's Action Plan to combat illegal logging, subsequent trade and deforestation – in ensuring legal and sustainable forestry and timber supply.
"Responsibly forested timber is an essential part of the solution to the emission reduction needed for mitigating the worst impacts of climate change, but tropical forests have often been undervalued and forest land cleared for other uses," said Timber Trade Federation CEO David Hopkins.
As Hopkins explains, the FLEGT initiative helps combat illegal logging, subsequent illegal timber trade and deforestation.
As part of the FLEGT Action Plan, countries with a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) work to rebuild legal and regulatory governance frameworks in return for aid and technical support.
"They introduce forest monitoring, auditing, multi-stakeholder dialogue and engagement with the local communities who feel the transformative benefits of social and economic change," added Hopkins.
"This landmark shift in governance and procurement means that FLEGT-licensed timber is safe, responsible and legal."
Entries close on 24 August 2020. Six winners will be announced at the beginning of September 2020.
Winners will be chosen by an expert judging panel, made up of Hopkins as well as Brinkworth CEO Adam Brinkworth and the Building Centre's creative director Vanessa Norwood.
Other names include London-based designer Yinka Ilori, Julia Barfield of Marks Barfield, Andrew Waugh of Waugh Thistleton Architects and Leah Riley Brown of the British Retail Consortium.
The six winners will be provided with timber sourced from VPA countries working towards FLEGT-licensing – responsibly sourced through the Timber Trade Federations' members – and a £1,000 maker's bursary. Where necessary, provisions will be made to match up designers with workshops for designs to be developed and fabricated.
The final creations will be exhibited in an online gallery, and a shortlist will be displayed in the exhibition at the Building Centre in London in November – the month when the COP26 was set to take place.
More information on the competition, including details on how to enter, can be found via the Building Centre website.