Wood Experience, the four-day fair dedicated to the all-round wood business, taking place in Verona from 27 to 30 October 2021, will end today. Its latest conferences will be dedicated to an economic analysis on the future of the wood supply chain and a round-up of the human and structural qualities of wood and straw residential buildings.
It has been a strategic event for both professionals and customers who are interested in building, furnishing and energy solutions representing an alternative to the decades-old mainstream markets. With their activities, the exhibitors have covered each application and service connected to wood: from processing, to finished products and their transformation. Wood is a versatile, flexible and elegant material. It is the protagonist of countless variations and applications and can teach valuable lessons to the most careful observers.
The most important lesson learnt during the four days of Wood Experience and which was often mentioned by the experts and speakers of its numerous events, who have gathered for the occasion, is surprisingly simple and effective: wood must be reinvented in all its forms. One can do so by learning from tradition and at the same time by opening up to the countless applications of wood in the current market.
«Thanks to this event, we have brought together the three fundamental wood-related supply chains: wood for buildings, wood for furniture and wood for energy – explains Raul Barbieri, Piemmeti general manager. The exhibitors were glad that they could resume their business after a two-year crisis, meet new customers and open up to the new potential of this market».
Futuristic technologies and craftsmanship
From robotics to carpentry wisdom: in the Wood Experience program, every need is expressed combining extraordinary know-how and technology. This leads to the incredible opportunity for interdisciplinary dialogue.
From the highest expressions of technology, such as Hundegger’s robotic machining centres, derive 4.0 Ecosys protective film applying lines and Sarmax finishing, brushing and impregnating machines. The highest technology is inspired by craftsmanship. In Wood Experience, technology meets exquisite humanistic skills such as design, the innovative and practical expression of wood. The synergy between high technology and craftsmanship and between digitization and human inventiveness urges us to reinvent the very concept of wood, that is how we imagine wood.
Wood as a technological material
In contemporary society, the attention to the most urgent issues such as sustainability, the protection of biodiversity, recycling and renewable energy, and the ability to blend with the most modern industrial, constructive and design techniques make wood one of the most technological materials on the market, both in terms of supply chain and of its very essence. On Wednesday 27th October, this idea, shared by wood experts and customers, opened Wood Experience with the presentation of the manifesto “Wood as a resource for sustainable growth”.
The document, presented by the players of this sector, such as Maurizio Danese, president of Veronafiere, Aldo Rebuli, president of Piemmeti S.p.a, professor Franco Laner and many others, underlines the features that make wood the right material for the future.
Wood fosters biodiversity, is an energy resource for the planet, can be used as an innovative and versatile material as it can replace plastic and petroleum-derived materials, is an efficient and safe resource for construction. Moreover, wood can boost education, research and culture.
A market to be reinvented
Construction and education are strategic points in reinventing and establishing best practices able to support the growing market of sustainable wood-based construction. I ts construction applications are extraordinary and obvious. However, in this field, wood is often used superficially and this may cause significant problems, which ultimately may discourage the emergence of this market.
Franco Laner is a highly esteemed professor at the IUAV University, as well as a virtuoso in designing and maintaining wooden architectural structures. He has highlighted that wood is too often considered as a construction material very similar to concrete. This misconception neglects the specific needs of wood and generates structural problems which may be fatal to newly built structures.
Professor Laner calls for greater training of the workers involved in the wood-based construction sector along with periodic supervision and maintenance of existing buildings. Moreover, he has argued that this is the only way in which customers can be given a tangible and final reason for trusting wood as the main component of something as precious as people’s homes.
Communicating wood: establishing a market
A more organic and all-encompassing mindset includes a very basic idea: even the best product in the world will not enter the market if unable to communicate in the right way.
Reinventing wood also means reshaping the way in which it is communicated. At Wood Experience, we have been given an overview of the new trends in this field, based on the experience of Aurelio Chinellato and Claudio Noventa from Ultrarkitettura and Luca Barbieri from Blum Vision.
This historical moment emphasizes the importance of environmental sustainability and of the “green economy”. Wood can perfectly take up such challenges because of its intrinsic qualities, so much so that it does not need to be constantly promoted for its environmental sustainability. For this reason, wood should be reinvented through extraordinary experimentation possibilities.
Companies must reinvent the way in which they communicate with their targets. Companies in the sector need fast, rational, fragmented and effective communication. It must be suitable for an audience of digital natives. With this in mind, a broader reflection on the logo and advertising is required. Communication should avoid clichés and break away from the constant need to highlight that wood is eco-friendly. On the contrary, it should range in the field of abstraction in order to communicate the corporate missions and get inspired from the inclusive essentiality of graphics when dealing with advertising communication.
Finally, companies should invest in becoming privileged witnesses of their specific sectors through an editorial strategy that provides for the autonomous publication of cultural content, in-depth journalism, relations with the media and participation or creation of events. This strategy pays off in the medium to long term, but, through a loyalty program, can have extraordinary effects in terms of building a future of constant and sustained growth.