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Atelier NL

WildHout - WildWood

What can trees do for us – and we for the trees? Take a walk through the woods at Atelier NL and help green up the city.

All week at Atelier NL | Hallenweg

Trees are a vital part of nature. They store carbon and produce oxygen, so cutting them down is a bad idea, right? Except maybe that isn’t quite true. WildHout walks you through the various challenges surrounding sustainable forestry and the fascinating ways we can work with trees.

Enter the WildHout exhibition through a forest of saplings, part of a community response to the violent storm last June that uprooted hundreds of trees in Eindhoven. Rather than leaving it all up to the city to replace them, you can adopt a tree for €10. In return, the municipality will plant two more.

Among the trees, you can listen to stories about the challenges and complex decisions involved in forest management. A large oak, for instance, is host to many plants and animals, but removing it allows the forest to regenerate and frees up space for young trees that, together, absorb much more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Adopting a tree has its own questions: will you take it home; donate it to replace a tree in the city; or should it be planted in a natural food or production forest?

The exhibition continues with innovative proposals from designers who work with wood as a sustainable material. The intricate connections between forest management, local producers, and the community are all visualised on Here you can follow, in both images and stories, what happened to each tree — from its original location to your own home.

20 students, one tree

Department of Well Being Design Academy Eindhoven
To engage DAE students with trees and encourage them to interact with their natural surroundings, Atelier NL took them to the forest. They were asked to sit with a tree for an entire day, walk through the forest with a forest manager, and cut down a large maple tree. Suddenly, emotions were involved — when the tree finally fell, there was a realisation that this was a living being. Each student took a part of the tree — from the roots to the sap and leaves – and used it for their own projects.

Houtland — Timm Donke

Trees are good for climate stabilization, soil regeneration, recreation, and general happiness. They can also provide nutritious food such as nuts, which can be made into hazelnut milk, or a cheese made from walnuts. These all have the potential to become Dutch staple foods of the future. Timm Donke presents HOUTLAND, an ambitious plan to reforest the Netherlands by 2060 in order to create a eco-friendly, tree-based society. The project reveals possible scenarios of a radical green future.

Forest Wool — Tamara Orjola

Forest Wool
Pine trees are the world’s main source of timber. Every year, 600 million pine trees are cut down in the EU alone. But there is more to the tree than just wood: pine needles account for 20 to 30 percent of its mass. Designer Tamara Orjola wondered why the needles would go unused, and found them to be a great alternative for all kinds of fibers. An elegant series of stools and carpets made of nothing but pine needles shows that this ecological material also has a high-quality look and feel to it.

Poplars — Lex Pott | Weltevree

Poplars are unmistakably inspired by the cultural legacy of the Dutch wooden shoe. Lex used the original material of poplar wood as a starting point, but tradition was central to the redesign as well. “After all these years, it’s still a convenient and natural shoe for gardening. By giving it a new silhouette and a more refined look, I wanted to gear up the wooden shoe for the future. Redefining such an icon for modern life is a dream come true.”

Atelier NL

Atelier NL develops products that showcase the richness of the earth and the value of local raw materials. Each earthly element tells a different story and yields a different product. Atelier NL’s work is based on a passionate and unique research methodology that analyzes the hidden narratives of the earth and all that it produces. Atelier NL speaks to the graceful subtleties of the natural world by reshaping raw earth elements into tangible, everyday objects.