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Hello Wood: Masters of Wood Installations

Fanni Kaszás 2018.12.22.

What started as a nonprofit business and teaching platform has transformed into one of the country’s most notable design companies – Hello Wood. It was voted one of Hungary’s favorite workplaces and can be found throughout the country: at festivals, in the pop-up installation in Városhaza Park and the Christmas markets. All the while, social responsibility and education have remained one of their main goals; Europe’s foremost wood craftsmanship camps are organized by Hello Wood for college students and younger generations.

One of their most well-known projects is the now nine-years-old international Hello Wood camp held in Csóromfölde. This year, the Cabin Fever program brought together carpenters from 30 different countries to build, within a week, seven livable and contemporary weekend houses—which were later furnished by Hungarian furniture suppliers. With the help of the Hello Wood team and professional international mentors, members of the summer camp learned to build movable, livable, and unique “wooden cabins” which will eventually have the potential to be prototypes for designer-hotels placed in the Bakony Mountains or the Kal Basin. “We are experimenting with a type of instruction which maintains the value and intensity of learning, while simultaneously producing developable products for future consumers. This level of direct connection to the demands of the market is not possible in the classic university teaching style,” said Péter Pozsár, one of the founding members of Hello Wood and a participant in the summer camp. Amongst other skills, campers had the opportunity to learn the basics of good insulation and tin roofing. They also familiarized themselves with the latest research and technologies.

The team finds it important to take part in not just the planning phases of a project, but also the actual carrying out of the said project; it is their educational goal to supplement the university’s “abstract and overly theoretical” approaches with practical experience. All three founding members of the company taught previously in a university. “As teachers, we witnessed the issue of students having no access to practical experience, no opportunity to use their two hands to handle the qualities of the tree or see its potential,” explained András Huszár to Lakáskultúra magazine.

A wood installation built on the “Építész mustra”. Photo by Bujnovkszy Tamás/Hello Wood

Largely for this reason, they established “Építész Mustra”, a building-festival which started in 2013 under the name “Balatoni Hekk”. In 2017 the camp moved to the Tokaj wine region where the more than one hundred creative college students in their twenties were able to see the potential of the land. In the week of the camp, they built wooden installations in all eight of the area’s villages. Since last year, the 10 participating institutions of the festival have included the event in their lesson plans; participants help in the development of an entire project, from start to finish—thus completing Hello Wood’s theoretical aspects with their full support.

Hello Wood’s summer camp. Photo by Marcos Llerena/Hello Wood

The Hungarian National Tourism Agency supports Hello Wood’s creativity camps given that the prototypes, installations and tourist attractions produced in this program successfully put Hungarian design and creativity on the national and foreign radar.

Aside from the summer camps, the team can be credited with numerous other accomplishments and installations. Their creations can be spotted at various festivals throughout the summer, but also in Budapest’s Városháza Park which houses, for the second summer, Hello Wood’s alternative outdoor furniture.

Christmas Tree at MÜPA Budapest.

András Huszár told Lakáskultúra magazine of their most loved works: “The Christmas tree made of sleds in front of the MÜPA impressed many, and we have made similar creations since, in several locations. Our London installation was named in London’s Top 5 alternative trees. The charity tree we built on Elizabeth square was made of usable firewood which was later donated to those in need, as were the sleds which constructed the tree at MUPA. In Manchester, our installation was made up of a future pub’s fixtures, counters, chairs, and tables—all of the material was later utilized in the furnishing of an actual pub constructed by the clients. The distinctiveness of all these projects, and the wood, is that nothing is wasted. In fact, most of the time, the materials become much more valuable after the project is completed. Somewhere, within this, is the goal of Hello Wood: construction, the applied designs, and societal cooperation”.

on the featured photo: Hello Wood’s Christmas Tree in London