This is how you build wooden dreams

03 Oct 2016

On September 23rd, the "Workshop of Dreams" was inaugurated in Segovia. The initiative, led by Segovia’s Hay Festival, the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), and the IE School of Architecture and Design had four teams come up with four sculptures – four dreams – handmade with wood from the lush forests of the United States. These four teams were comprised by creators – the inspirers – and world-renowned Spanish architects and designers.

The first team was formed by architect Izaskun Chinchilla and chefs Juan Mari y Elena Arzak. The second team was led by Spanish writer Javier Cercas and RCR Architects. The third was comprised by the Dean of the IE School of Architecture and Design, the Pritzker Architecture Prize’s executive director Martha Thorne, and Italian architect Benedetta Tagliabue . Finally, the fourth team was led by our CEO, Jacob Benbunan, and Juan Luis Arsuaga, Spanish palaeontologist and the scientific director of the Museum of Human Evolution in Burgos, Spain.

As the brief, all participants had to respond to the question: 'what object have you always wanted in your home but never been able to find?' For Arsuaga, the answer to this was a space he could live in regardless of the environment - a cabin with all the necessary elements to work or rest despite the weather.

According to the organization, “the challenge presented a unique opportunity to start with a clean slate, as the first step was for the designer and the inspirer to get to know each other, to push each other to break down boundaries, and to freely explore new ideas together. After this initial phase, the resulting object – to be crafted in wood – represented the dreams of the inspirer but also of the designer. Dreams and ideas that had been going around in both of their heads but that hadn’t had a chance to be realized.”

The final sculptures, produced by the carpentry “La Navarra”, one the best wood workshops in Spain, were displayed during this year’s edition of the Segovia Hay Festival. During the exhibition, the teams behind each sculpture showed the process behind the making of these objects and shared the whole creative process with the public, from ideation to craft.

“Thanks to the dreams of these four inspirers, designers had the chance to explore and deepen the technical and aesthetical possibilities, as well as the environmental benefits, of American wood” concluded the organization.