Group Photo  of the delegates of the World Wood Day Symposium posing under the timber roof of the lecture theater of the Open Air Museum, Stuebing, Austria

The joint symposium of the World Wood Day Foundation, IAWA, IAWS and IUFRO from 21—23 March, 2019 in the Open Air Museum in Stuebing, Austria, was a great success.  The unique setting in the beautiful landscape of the Stuebing valley, dotted with 100 wooden buildings, representing five centuries of wood culture of rural Austria greatly added to an excellent atmosphere of the meeting. Conveners Michael Grabner and Charlotte Lee had assembled a great programme under the general theme “Change” with as sessions on “Sustainable wood utilization starts with proper tree species identification”, “Wooden buildings – tradition and innovation”, “Wood-based musical instruments, Art and Design”, “Education – an essential tool for forest sustainability and wood utilization” and “Non-wood forest products”. The collaboration of WWD, IAWA, IAWS and the IUFRO Wood Culture group guaranteed a multidisciplinary approach, highlighting change in the selection of species under pressure of commercial extinction of luxury woods, change in wood architecture thanks to the wide-scale application of cross-laminated timber (CLT) and other new technologies, change in wood science research in a globally changing world, etc. IAWA could raise its profile by catering for the drinks during the well- attended poster and closing sessions. Next year’s WWD Symposium will be in Tokyo, and IAWA has again expressed an interest to join forces with this event. 

Pieter Baas