At the turn of the twentieth century, a commitment was made to replant and preserve Iceland’s forests. Now, after more than a hundred years of growth, some of this lumber is ready to be transformed. Into what? That is what we will explore. From May 15th through May 22nd, twenty individuals from Iceland and the United States will meet in East Iceland on the edge of Hallormsstaðaskógur. They will come to better understand the region through exploration of its rich geology, ecology, and history. They will be designers, foresters, craftspeople, professors and students sharing their experiences and different perspectives. The results of this workshop are open, dictated by the interaction with the potential materials and the history and needs of the region. The forests are filled with possibilities.
Gathering Forest and Community will focus on experience and interaction with the local natural and built environment. Lectures conducted by experts will be paired with exploratory field trips. Information will be gathered and observations made by the members of the group who will bring their own distinct perspectives and sets of skills. Through informal conversations and formal workshops, we will reflect on our experiences to better understand the region and it’s resources, allowing for the formulation of possible directions for design solutions. The focus will then shift to experimentation with the diverse materials the forest affords and to prototyping as the members of the group will propose products, publications, events or other interventions that will utilize the possibilities of the forest and the community.