Opening Ceremony of the 1st Sino-Canadian Solid Wood Furniture Design Competition

Lance Tao

By: Lance Tao

Communications Manager, Canada Wood Group

On June 10, 2022, the opening ceremony of the 1st Sino-Canadian Solid Wood Furniture Design Competition, jointly organized by the Nanjing Forestry University (NFU) College of Furnishings and Industrial Design and Canada Wood China (CW China). The event was supported by the Consulate General of Canada in Shanghai, the Shanghai Wood Industry Association, the Fujian Custom Home Furnishing Industry Association, Interni Design Journal and Canadian wood-related trade enterprises. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 regulations, the event took place online 112 participants, including furniture manufacturers, teachers and students joining to witness the opening ceremony.

Group photo of the online attendees

The 1st Sino-Canadian Solid Wood Furniture Design Competition will focus on the theme of “Green Forests and Vibrant Designs”, to inspire students and teachers unleash their creative design talent using Canadian hemlock that provides versatility and durability with a natural aesthetic. As one of the first-class research institutions in China’s home and furniture industry, the NFU College of Furnishings and Industrial Design benefits from the advantages of the excellence of forestry industries in Jiangsu province. The school specializes in furniture design and engineering with a focus on designing for people’s home lifestyle, cultivating the next generation of furniture designers for the industry.

This event builds on a Memorandum of Understanding that was signed in August 18, 2021, between the NFU College of Furnishings and Industrial Design and CW China. This MOU highlighted the commitment of both parties to promoting cooperation in the fields of home and furniture design using Canadian wood materials in China, and expanding cooperation in the academics field of wood furniture design and engineering. As one of the world’s leading timber exporters, Canada is at the forefront of sustainable forest management, providing environmentally friendly, high-quality forest products to consumers worldwide. The Sino-Canadian Solid Wood Furniture Design Competition introduces the sustainable forest management practices of Canada to protect forests forever, to promote the importance of certified sustainable materials and concepts of environmental protection that can be applied to the design field in China. With the designs focusing on the consumer trends of young families in China, Canadian hemlock is being promoted in the market for solid wood furniture in China with the support of the NFU College of Furnishings and Industrial Design, CW China, and manufacturing partners undergoing the Canadian Hemlock trial programs.

Frank Li, Trade Commissioner of the Canadian Consulate
Professor Xu Wei, Dean of the NFU College of Furnishings and Industrial Design
Eric Wong, Managing Director of CW China

For the opening ceremony, remarks were delivered by Frank Li, Trade Commissioner of Consulate General of Canada in Shanghai; Professor Xu Wei, Dean of the NFU College of Furnishings and Industrial Design and Eric Wong, Managing Director of CW China. Professor Xu Wei said that this competition would allow young designers to create new furniture pieces and explore the ways Canadian hemlock can be used, which was a challenge and also a valuable experience for those participating students. The competition provided a good platform for teachers and students as well as Canadian forest industry enterprises to discuss and learn from each other.

Following Professor Xu Wei announcing the opening of “The 1st Sino-Canadian Solid Wood Furniture Design Competition”, CW China held a seminar to give an overview of the wood furniture market and Canadian Hemlock. Four speakers were invited to share their views on the current state of the solid wood furniture market in China, Canadian cultural heritage and creative design, Canada’s sustainable forest management system and a technical introduction of Canadian hemlock materials.

With the successful launch of the competition, we look forward to following the work of these designers and promoting the winning entries competition after the competition ends in December 2022.

Travis Joern, Director, Corporation Communications & GR, CW China
Alex Wu, Senior Manager of Business Development for Wood in Manufacturing (WiM), CW China

The full list of speakers and their presentation topics includes:

  • Current State of China’s Wood Processing and Furniture Market” by Li Peixin, Marketing Director, Shanghai Wood Industry Association
  • Community, Forestry and Heritage Roots of Canada” by Travis Joern, Director, Corporation Communications and Government Relations, CW China
  • Canadian Forest Management System and the Application and Prospect of Hemlock in Furniture” by Alex Wu, Senior Manager of Business Development for Wood in Manufacturing (WiM), CW China
  • Processing and Application of Canadian Hemlock” by Wu Qingshan, Vice President of Fujian Customized Home Furnishing Association, Chairman of Fujian Zhangping D-road Forestry Co.,Ltd