In Conversation with Jeremy Yu

In conversation with Jeremy Yu, Studio Yu

BLOG · BY TTF FLEGT COMMUNICATIONS EXECUTIVE LUCY BEDRY· 28 January 2021

Jeremy Yu, designer of  the ‘Sound Pavilion’ – evoking conversation around sustainable forestry – talks to the Timber Trade Federation on his design idea and wider sustainability inspirations.

Jeremy Yu is a designer and architect working at the forefront of the creative industry. Graduating from the University of Bath, Jeremy has extensive experience in residential, education and public realm, establishing Studio Yu in 2018.

Studio Yu’s work is the result of rigorous observation and investigation to make architecture that is both contemporary and timeless. An interest in creating ‘extraordinary’ places for living and working expressed in the careful design of public spaces and inventive yet pragmatic use of materials and detailing.

“Encapsulated by the meaningfulness of the brief, asking designers to think about timber and its place in the climate debate while revealing the aesthetic qualities of the palette of tropical hardwood species selected”, Jeremy Yu formulated the design behind the Sapele Sound Pavilion.

Conversations about Climate Change instigates conversations around responsible sourcing, sustainable forest management, the FLEGT Action Plan, climate change mitigation and the timber industry for a low-carbon economy.

The exhibition (live from the 12th FEB – register) showcases the  beauty of tropical hardwood species while raising awareness of the EU FLEGT Action Plan to eradicate illegal logging and trade.

Jeremy Yu has a sound understanding of timber legality, its sustainable and renewable credentials and its incredibly versatility and beauty. Jeremy is exactly the type of designers we [the TTF] hoped to engage with on this timber project.

“As an architect, I am always conscious of the impact of construction on global warming and how we can use more sustainable timber in construction to help turn the tide on climate change”.

In what way has the Conversations about Climate Change project led you to understand or research more into timber legality, sustainability or the FLEGT Action Plan?

Jeremy: The Conversations about Climate Change project led me to understand more about Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade: the social, environmental and economic benefits it brings, how the FLEGT Action Plan has contributed to better forest governance, the need for regulation to tackle deforestation and the essential of having sustainable tropical timber.

In response to how Jeremy perceives using and specifying timber as a mitigative method in the climate emergency:

In today’s climate emergency we should actively promote the use of timber in lieu of concrete and steel, as timber is the only truly renewable construction material, with the lowest energy consumption of any building material across its lifecycle.  Using timber will reduce CO2 because trees act as a carbon ‘sink’ removing CO2 from the atmosphere. The use of timber in the construction of buildings can achieve negative net CO2 emissions.

The Sapele Sound Pavilion design, in partnership with musician and instrument builder Crewdson, prompts a conversation around the role of forestry and evoking conversations necessary in the climate emergency. “We will create a soundscape based on the life cycle of a sapele tree, evoking conversations around sustainable processes within forestry, production and re use, and how this plays a hand in our fight against climate change”.

What are your aspirations, and what do you view as the biggest opportunities and challenges for the future?

Jeremy: Nature is an unique and spectacular marvel, yet the way modern society operates and the way we construct is sending it into a decline. We have overrun the world and expended its resources in an unsustainable manner. To tackle this, I see that the building professionals have the opportunity to promote the use of sustainable construction and challenge society to learn to work with nature rather than against it in future.