Canada Wood Today | The Canada Wood Group

Developing a Wood Culture Starts from an Early Age

Jennifer Yu

By Jennifer Yu

Project Director, Canada Wood Shanghai

May 29, 2017

Wood construction remains a widely unknown building system to many in China. Over the years, Canada Wood has spent significant efforts to cultivate a wood culture in the country. While usually we talk to university students and professionals in the construction industry, this time it was a much younger group that learnt about wood. 

Recently, Professor Yang HuiFeng from Nanjing Tech University was invited by the school of his 9-year-old son to share his work with the kids. Professor Yang gave a presentation named the “Miracle Wood”. His presentation covered:

  • Where the wood comes from
  • The anatomy of wood
  • Chinese characters with “Wood”
  • Famous Chinese idioms and allusions with “Wood”
  • What wood can be used for including everything from paper and pencils, and Legos which kids are grown up with, all the way to the modern schools and houses which are built with wood
  • Wood structures related research and design Prof. Yang was involved

The kids and the school teachers were absolutely surprised and intrigued to learn that wood can be used to build such beautiful houses and schools, and that you can even see such structures in China. When the kids were asked whether they would like to study and live in such wood buildings, they all had their little hands up and said very loudly “Yes, I want to”.

Professor Yang shared his interesting experience among all the members of “University Timber Structures Design and Education Committee” inspiring many of his colleagues to also plan similar visits to schools. It is becoming very common nowadays in China that parents are invited by schools (primary and high) to share their work so kids get to learn the “real world”.

Professor Yang stated later that he was really touched and encouraged when he saw the reaction and interest of the kids and the school towards his work and wood. As he noted, developing a wood culture starts from an early age. Hopefully with our efforts, we can generate more and more interests from schools. We also hope to see more and more wood to be used in the institutional buildings.