A Story About a Pine Tree

The Pine tree (Pinus Sylvestris) is the most abundant tree in Latvia. In fact, there are 500 times more Pine trees than there are people living in Latvia. Such ratio provides interesting opportunities for a designer to consider. In the context of history this abundance of resources implies a much closer relationship between people and their forests, in particular the pine tree, providing food, medicine and tools. Contrary, today Pine trees are viewed only as a resource for its soft and cheap wood. 

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Has the industrial approach made forests into factories delivering wood as its final product? Furthermore, the mass production and processing of the tree industry even resembles principles of cattle breeding which provides meat. By acknowledging these similarities one can see how the bark becomes a link between trees as a living organism and wood as the end-product. 

Being properly processed Pine bark will have leather-like properties. This soft material, treated with natural substances has a lifespan of a few years, which this design approach respects. In response, decay becomes a part of the product, which implies change of shape over time and use. The adjustment of the function to the lifespan challenges the collective consumption habits of today, namely us hoping for long lasting products although we are fully aware of the short lifecycles. 

This narrative is represented by 4 applications, organized in environmental contexts and limited by using the material from a single tree. The tree cutting industry becomes a context providing access to the bark that is normally burned. 

The goal is to strike a balance between reality and fiction, to suggest that new realities are ready to emerge beyond the current, limited way of regarding trees as commodities.