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Architecture and Wood

Research group The Architecture and Wood research group at UMA supports and promotes diverse architectural research into human engagements with forests, trees, and wood in the design and production of wood architecture and wood building products.

The Architecture and Wood research group promotes a conceptual and critical awareness of how wood can help to reduce the built environment’s carbon footprint without neglecting the consequences for the landscapes that produce it. We recognise that a single material cannot provide an answer to society's environmental challenges, but we also believe in the potential of wood to replace carbon-emitting materials and provide for carbon sequestration. 
Umeå School of Architecture is situated near some of Europe’s most economically productive forests and cutting-edge wood industries. Sweden is currently the world’s second-biggest exporter of pulp, paper, and sawn wood products, harvesting some 90 million cubic metres every year. Innovative new construction techniques and applications are growing the demand for wood and wood products. But we are also located on historic Sámi territory where industrial forestry brings different interests into conflict. As a result, we recognise that wood is both a historic and rapidly evolving building material.  
The UMA Wood Research Group encompasses architects and researchers with diverse cultural, methodological, epistemological and philosophical approaches to wood that include conservation, reforestation, mapping, analysis, and material design exploration. The group supports the production of new knowledge relating to forests, wood and architecture in the form of theses, papers, open-access articles, books and exhibitions. 
The Architecture and Wood research group meets regularly digitally and in person to support the creation of an inclusive, critical and stable research environment. As third-cycle education resumes at UMA, we will provide the foundation for a stimulating community of future researchers and practitioners. We will also contribute to the establishment of new courses and programmes at UMA. 
Our work focuses on (but is not limited to) three of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals: 11, Sustainable Cities and Communities; 12, Responsible Consumption and Production; 13, Climate Action. 

Leader of the Architecture and Wood research group

James Brown
Associate professor


Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Umeå School of Architecture

Research area

Latest update: 2024-03-12