Conversations about Climate Change

Virtual Exhibition

Conversations about Climate Change is a specially commissioned design competition, exhibition, and event series providing a platform for urgent climate debates.

What is FLEGT and how is it sustainable?

FLEGT stands for Forest Law Enforcement, Governance, and Trade, and is a trade initiative created by the EU and the UK to strengthen the sustainable forestry practices and forestry laws employed in by timber exporting nations (outside of the EU / UK).


We know this works. Thanks to strong forestry management practices in Europe, forests have grown rather than shrunk over the past 25 years. These practices need to be extended to other producer nations.


This design competition highlights the transformations taking place in countries undergoing FLEGT VPA and the beauty of materials which can be utilised under sustainable forest management and responsible sourcing.


You can find out more about FLEGT on our website here

What is Conversations about Climate Change?

Conversations about Climate Change is a specially commissioned competition, exhibition and event series providing a platform for urgent debates. This project is a culmination of the TTF’s FLEGT communications work, funded through the Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO), working to raise awareness of the FLEGT Action Plan, promote inclusion into procurement policies and specification of timber resources from countries engaging with the FLEGT Action Plan.


With the rescheduled COP26 climate talks in November 2021, we cannot afford to see the climate take a backseat again. Conversations about Climate Change continues much needed conversations now around responsible sourcing, sustainable forest management, carbon storage, FLEGT, climate change mitigation and the timber industry for a low-carbon economy.

How can designers and specifiers influence carbon emissions?

Different materials come with a varying carbon cost as a result of the ‌emissions‌ ‌created from ‌the‌ ‌‌extraction‌‌ ‌&‌ ‌‌supply‌‌ ‌of‌ ‌raw‌ ‌material,‌ ‌their‌ ‌‌transportation‌‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌manufacturing‌ ‌plant‌ ‌and‌ ‌their‌ ‌‌manufacturing‌‌ ‌and‌ ‌‌fabrication‌‌. This is often referred to as embodied carbon.


By choosing to build with sustainable timber, designers and specifiers connect themselves to a supply chain which helps keep forests standing. A circular economy, using a material, wood, which absorbs and stores carbon – rather than emits carbon.


A cubic metre of wood stores around 0.9 tonnes of CO2e. You can find out more about the sustainable nature of wood through our WoodCO2tsless information campaign.

When and where will the exhibition be held?

The virtual exhibition of Conversations about Climate Change can be accessed here.

Explore the online exhibition featuring the winning installations made from tropical hardwoods and engage with #ClimateConversations.

How is the competition supported by the TTF?

The initiative falls under the Timber Trade Federation’s FLEGT project work, facilitated through the FLEGT team and utilising tropical hardwood timbers from Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) countries through the Timber Trade Federation members.

The Competition

The Conversations about Climate Change competition ran from the 1st of June 2020 until the 24th August 2020.

We received over 100 submissions which were whittled down to our six winners / conversationalists by our expert judging panel including: Adam Brinkworth, Yinka Ilori, Julia Barfield, Andrew Waugh and Leah Riley Brown. They joined David Hopkins and Vanessa Norwood to deliberate which designs most strongly communicate issues affecting the climate emergency while presenting the aesthetic beauty of tropical hardwoods from FLEGT VPA countries.

NB: Many thank you to the many designers who entered the competition, the quality of entries was outstanding. Below you can see some of the winners, who will feature in an exhibition in 2021.

Winning designers / Conversationalists

Sheryl Ang & Yuta Nakayama, the Tree Whisperer

Jeremy Yu, the Sapele Sound Pavilion

Joe Pipal, the Carbon Print

Michael Westthorp, the High Tide

Julia and Julian Kashdan-Brown, the Extraction

Tom Wilson, the Forest Dwellers

All photographs © Chris Jackson

Virtual Exhibition