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Photo credit: Tammy Gaber


The Bergen International Wood Festival is a biennial global competition, focusing on the use of wood for its tectonic, structural and tactile qualities. In 2016, 20 teams of designers, architects, artists and students from around the world competed by building installations in a public park with the theme of “Green Transition.” The installations remained on display until Summer 2017, to be enjoyed by the city. [1]

The festival focused on the unique properties of wood, and its sustainability as a renewable resource. The participants were urged to challenge wood constructively, structurally and in terms of form. The festival was intended to inspire people, developers and the business community to use wood more. [2]

Over the course of five days, the teams planned and constructed their installations along the park. In the evenings, social events were scheduled across the city including dinners at the local schools of design with impromptu tours—and continued discussions of design across cultures. Each of the teams presented their design concepts and construction methods on the fourth evening, sharing approaches and difficulties overcome during the process. Other evenings included lectures on wood, including by professor Kober (on new approaches in wood structures education) and Dr. Tammy Gaber (on design-build). Students from Laurentian University took home this year’s top prize for their tunnel-like installation, entitled Metamorphosis. [1]

“This study trip to Scandinavia and this wood design competition are incredible opportunities for teaching design. The success of our week in Bergen was in the collaboration of our students, their work ethic in a new environment and our conversations about wood design with artists, architects, carpenters and students from around the world,” said Dr. Gaber. “The prize is exciting, and as the youngest participants, reinforces the hope and opportunities latent in all design questions. I am extremely proud of them and ecstatic to have led this.” [3]

Tammy Gaber


[1]      Gaber, Tammy. “Canadians Converse in Wood at Norway’s Bergen International Wood Festival.” Canadian Architect, June 9, 2016. https://www.canadianarchitect.com/wood-bergen-festival-norway/.

[2]      “Bergen International Wood Festival 2016 Programme.” Bergen International Wood Festival, 2016. Store Lungegårdsvann.

[3]       N/a. “Bergen Wood Festival.” Laurentian University. Laurentian.ca, February 5, 2015. https://laurentian.ca/newstags/bergen-wood-festival.

Additional information:

“News.” Canadian Architect, July 2016.

Radio-Canada. “L’École D’architecture De L’Université Laurentienne Remporte Un Prix International.” Radio. Radio-Canada, June 18, 2019. https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/782180/ecole-architecture-laurentienne-festival-bois-bergen-premier-prix.

Project Title: Metamorphosis
Artists:  Henry Dyck, Derrick Pilon, Angela Perdue and Tammy Gaber (Laurentian University)
Year: 2016

Place: Bergen Wood Festival, Bergen (Norway)

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