What Albert Einstein, Architects and Artists have in common
They all love wood.
Before you scoff at the very idea of this seemingly effective clickbait, remember that Einstein once truly, and very wisely, made this observation;
“People love chopping wood. In this activity one immediately sees results.”
The genius that we know the scientist to be was absolutely right in his observation. Why was he right, and how then, do architects and artists really contribute to this equation?
Simply put, Einstein understood the tangible and intangible appeal of wood decor– it’s aesthetics and practicality are as evocative as its warmth in your hand. We, as lesser grades of brain matter, have only just begun to catch on.
Even more simply put, architects and artists have always embraced and understood that wood is superior to so many other materials. It also usually costs much less and delivers so much more.
Now this is an equation that doesn’t elude our minds!
To begin with, insulation truly trumps all
Inorganic materials like steel and cement are frequently non-combustible and therefore inevitably expand when heated, weakening their structure significantly. Organic materials like wood, on the other hand, react in contrast – when heated, wood takes a stance, dries out and becomes hardened as a form of natural protection.
In the context of construction during extreme weather conditions, multiple types of wood are frequently used as alternatives to brick, concrete and even stone. This is due to its high insulating abilities, allowing building progress to continue without hindrance, not only saving time and energy but also helping to prevent any wastage in labour.
What about flexible DNA?
Did you know that there are over 5000 different types of wood? Each variety has its own distinct properties; from hardwoods suitable for construction, to perfect Cherry and Ebony used for building structural frames with core strength and insulating abilities. Beautiful specimens like Oak and Maple are recommended for interior design and selected for their aesthetic appeal. Wood is a material which offers seemingly endless choices.
Range of beauty
The natural grain of wood has tremendous versatility in aesthetics. From quality finishes that highlight its unusual grains and colour patterns, to the natural hues exemplified by textured accents, wood is one of the most mesmerising beauties in the natural world.
Wood has undoubtedly provided artists from all around the world with a common, diverse natural material with infinite creative interpretations dating back thousands of years. One of the first artforms by mankind, wood carving still provides an outlet for contemporary artists. From Palaeolithic carved wooden spears, carved Polynesian stem pipes to the intricately carved doorways of Rome – wood has inspired people to make art that endures through the centuries.
Despite enormous strides in engineering excellence in the last century, man-made materials often still do not have the generosity of spirit to accommodate as many changes as nature does.
The phrase “give and take” might have stemmed from the very nature of wood itself, given its durability and strength of resistance. The material’s ability to bend, as nature often has the ability to do, makes it superior over synthetic materials which are built to be unyielding and unforgiving on purpose.
A prime example would be Bamboo, widely embraced by the Japanese, Koreans and Chinese. Bamboo has greater tensile strength than steel, with the potential ability to withstand more compression than concrete. In temperate and tropical climates, Bamboo also grows as abundantly as a weed, making it one of the fastest regenerating plants on the planet.
Even though wood doesn’t act as a perfect sound insulator, it does prevent echoes from bouncing around the room by absorbing sound waves. When compared to its constructive competitors, wood proves to be much more effective at sound insulation, especially when it comes to insulating between different rooms. It is also commonly used in many concert halls around the world not only for aesthetic reasons, but also because the material allows for any unwanted low frequency to be absorbed through panel vibration, aiding in creating a steady stream of acoustics.
Protecting the environment
Need more be said? Homes made from trees are sustainable, renewable and environmentally friendly. Wooden structures readily absorb and store atmospheric carbon dioxide and according to some studies, even when haulage and labor is taken into account, wood is still widely considered as the only carbon neutral construction material used to this day!
Wood decor in the modern home
We don’t all have the luxury of deciding what material our homes will be built with, but we can create harmony in our environment by filling it will materials that come from nature. At Banbayu, we are proud to bring a selection of ethically sourced, artisan crafted wooden goods to the UK and Ireland. Our wooden furniture and ornaments have been handmade using only ecologically sustainable materials and processes
As Albert Einstein also said, “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions’. Wood not only delivers on innovative design, speed, cost and resource efficiency, it also offers a path to a low carbon economy, truly making it one of the planet’s best materials of the past, present and future.