5 Te Whare Nuio Tuteata

Let’s Talk Timber: Advanced Workshop Series

8th June 2023

  • Events, Seminars & Workshops
  • ·

Photographer: Patrick Reynolds
Image of: Te Whare Nui o Tuteata - SCION Innovation Hub
By: Irving Smith Architects, RTA Studio & Dunning Thornton Consultants


At the Timber Design Centre, it’s our job to help the design and construction industry imagine new possibilities and find new ways of building better with timber. 

To realise more well-designed and well-built large timber projects in New Zealand requires that we all learn more and improve ourselves. Not individually, but collectively.

Which is why we’ve launched the Let’s Talk Timber series of advanced workshops. An invitation-only initiative that will bring the best academic and practitioner perspectives together. Participants will work alongside international experts sharing best practices to assist each other, jointly identify and solve problems and recommend future ideas and improvements.   

Led by Hugh Morris and Bjorn Stankowitz, technical managers at The Timber Design Centre, we’ve had a fantastic response from invitees from across the industry already! 

The first workshop will be held in Christchurch in early October, bringing together 30 engineers and architects from around the country to share specific project challenges they are facing in designing large timber buildings. 

“Invited participants will bring along specific design challenges they are currently solving,” says Hugh. “Together, we’ll work on problem-solving solutions that can allow us to more easily use sustainable, natural, low-carbon materials for these buildings.” 

Hugh and Bjorn will also be drawing on the knowledge they gathered from travelling to the World Conference on Timber Engineering in Norway last month.  

“The intention behind this series is to create a practical design forum, where we can capture knowledge from people who are working on designing these buildings every day,” says Hugh.  

Timber Design Centre will then bring all this expertise and contributions together to produce a series of guides that will be shared with other designers and the broader industry as edited publications for everyone to benefit from. Ultimately to:

Collect existing knowledge 

Identify the key issues the industry is facing and what can be done to resolve them 

Pinpoint the pitfalls 

“The reason it’s a series is because this is the best way to build networks of influence and relationships,” explains Hugh. Also, the topics that will be covered have complexity, requiring at least a full day per topic.” 

“These are crucial for us to understand the most effective way to build with timber on a large scale and to develop a roadmap for how we move forward.”