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Bergen International Wood Festival 

The Bergen International Wood Festival is a biennial global competition that focuses on designing and building with wood. Teams of designers, architects, artists, wood workers, and students from around the world competed by building installations in a park in Bergen, Norway. In 2016, the McEwen School of Architecture entered in the competition for their second year, and sent two teams led by Professors Tammy Gaber and Randall Kober. The team for the Cavernous installation consisted of second year students Matthew Hunter, Marina Schwellnus, and Marie Jankovich, and the Metamorphosis installation team of second year students Henry Dyck, and first year students Angela Perdue and Derrick Pilon.

After the student selection process held within the McEwen School of Architecture, The selected group of students met with each other along with Professor Gaber to divide into teams and move forward with the design process for their installations. Henry Dyck described their collaborations as “a slick design process, there were no hiccups, no confusion, there were , no silent periods, it was fast, and it worked really well”. Both teams had solidified designs that were approved by the makers of the festival prior to travel, and knew their designs well enough to hit the ground running with little assistance from drawings or models once in Bergen.

After final reviews of the semester were complete, the group left for the first destination of their three week trip, Reykjavik, Iceland. It was here that they were able enjoy this bonding experience through a red eye flight and visits to key buildings and extraordinary landscapes of that region to get comfortable with each other before the competition began. Angela Perdue described their experience in Iceland as “a good icebreaker” and that the dynamics of the group “would have been very different if we had just showed up in Bergen”.

Once arriving in Bergen, they attended a social event for all the participants of the competition at the Bergen Academy of Art and Design, where they were encouraged to meet each team and learn where they’re from and make connections with them prior and throughout the competition. Over the course of the following five days of the competition, the design of the Metamorphosis installation changed, as the team planned, based on the site they selected to build on. As Henry reflects, “the good thing about our design is that it was designed for the landscape… we were fortunate enough to have designed and installation that was responsive enough and could deal with tough sites, so our site selection was easy because any site we had, no matter what challenges were there, we could respond to it. I think that’s what made our design so successful.”

Project Team:

Henry Dyck

Angela Perdue

Derrick Pilon

Professor Tammy Gaber

First Place Winner