One of the key aims of the project is to communicate to both designers and the wider public that hardwoods such as red oak are viable material options from a sustainability perspective.
Red oak is the most abundant species in American hardwood forests yet is often overlooked in European design. Over-reliance on a small selection of woods can have a damaging effect on forest ecosystems, so AHEC believes that designers and architects have a responsibility to use whatever nature provides. Growing wild rather than planted, red oak represents both a highly sustainable and renewable material option, and one with significant aesthetic appeal for designers and architects.
Furthermore, as a timber, red oak serves as a carbon store, locking away the CO2 absorbed from the atmosphere during the tree’s lifetime, and reducing the Designposts’ carbon footprint as a result.
The Designposts will be erected on plinths manufactured from cross-laminated panels of tulipwood, repurposed from LDF and AHEC’s 2019 Landmark project MultiPly, which will in turn be used again in future editions of the festival. After the festival, the Designposts themselves will likely be donated to London institutions, either to live permanently or be repurposed for new student projects.