Forest Wool: the pine fiber potential by Tamara Orjola

The Beginning

Tamara Orjola: It all began with meticulous research about the forgotten value of plants and techniques. There is a lot of knowledge and awareness we used to pass from generation to generation which got forgotten due to the development of mass-production. Valuable local materials and techniques are left behind due to the unwillingness of mass-production to adopt for more sustainable but less sufficient sources of production.

The Pine Tree

Tamara Orjola: The pine tree is actually not a forgotten plant at all it is the most common tree in Euro- Asia, I grew up around pine forests myself. I knew that pine tree has much more to offer and in the old days, it used to be used as food, remedies, to build homes, furniture and other purposes. Nowadays, it is mostly known for cheap timber. I was prompted to experiment with needles after researching the hundreds of millions of pine trees cut down in the EU.

I think pine fiber can have a big potential in many fields. With needle bearing trees alone, there is so much possible with the methods I´ve designed. You can really make a large assortment of products/materials from this single source.

Tamara Orjola: My project is very broad and my focus was never simply creating a sustainable material. Within my research, I have looked at the ecological and economic value of the forest, industrial production, and mass consumption. The rise of the middle class has increased the demand for products and resources. Humans today extract and use around 50% more natural resources than 30 years ago. Our lifestyles are becoming increasingly unsustainable we consume more than we need, we don’t value what we have. The lifespan of things we consume is narratively short. Annually we consume more wood then we plant and since it takes a tree at least 50 years to reach its sufficient scale it is hard to stay sustainable. With my project, I am trying to suggest that something good can be made out of something bad. To conserve the world’s forests, we must reinvent our wood use. Proper consumption of the whole tree can provide a great alternative to imported fibers like coir, jute, cotton and decrease the demand for other natural resources and even wood itself.

Interview with Tamara Orjola.

Copyright: Design Academy Eindhoven / Photographer: Ronald Smits

Trends: Sustainable and Shared.