Along with stone, wood is one of the earliest building materials known to humankind. We started building homes with it, made weapons from it, and eventually developed a whole new craft called carpentry from it. Its use has developed tremendously over time, from functional to more aesthetically pleasing. Along with the latest advances in technology, wood can be designed and shaped into many different forms of our liking, giving rise to some truly brilliant contemporary designs.
From left to right: Adela Rex by Andreu World; Channel by Ofifran
So why is wood so popular in contemporary design?
Well, for a start, biophilic design has been trending and gaining importance among professional designers and end-users. Not only does it add a beautiful, natural, and sophisticated look to your environment, but is pleasing and calming to the senses as well. According to a study, it was revealed that 82 percent of workers who were exposed to eight or more wooden surfaces in their office reported being very satisfied with their work, compared with only 53 percent with no wooden surfaces present in their workplace. This adds to the premise that wood does indeed contribute to an improvement in job satisfaction and creativity.
ICEX, an organisation dedicated to the promotion of Spanish talent, design, and innovation, has been promoting incredible Spanish contemporary design to the Middle East. Through their platform termed Interiors from Spain, they offer interior designers a showcase of the latest ideas, trends and product launches coming from the country, particularly in the space of Interior Design, Architecture, and Manufacturing. ICEX also features a complete list of companies, design firms, and profiles of designers from Spain. Many of these companies and designers master the use of wood.
ESCALAS Collection by INCLASS
Wood has an incredible level of aesthetic adaptability, and can really be moulded into some beautiful shapes. A great example of this can be seen in Spanish design today, notably from brands such as Ofifran and Andreu World. Adela Rex, a technological wood design from Andreu World, uses phenomenal precision in its fabrication and the complex curving of the plywood. The result is a beautiful wooden chair that is truly a modern take on a classic product. Ofifran on the other hand uses wood in a stunning manner on their Channel executive chairs, and the wooden backshells are a beautiful example of a modern take on a classic product. It goes to show that wood is an extremely elegant material that can give a product that timeless charm and evolve its use with design over the years.
Several other products incorporate wood in their designs to promote biophilia in the workplace while giving the interior a contemporary look. Wood can be seamlessly combined with other materials, such as fabric and vinyl, thanks to its universal and versatile character. Modern trends clearly reflect this, and this approach has been taken on by several product designers who are looking to combine natural materials with manufactured ones in an attempt to add a bit of nature into an industrial look. For example, take a look at the Escalas or Lapse collection from INCLASS. Both collections use wood in beautiful tandem with their seating products, creating collections that work in a multitude of settings, be it commercial or residential.