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Wood Awards give Lord of the Rings the elbow

On Tuesday afternoon we did the shortlisting for this year’s Wood Awards, in which we whittled (get it?) around 200 entries down to a list of 20 to be visited and further appraised. There were lots of great entries, and plenty that were less great. Several projects had been noticed by all, or almost all, of the judges, and were a shoo-in for the visiting list. There was more discussion about others.

In particular, there was some discussion of the virtue or otherwise of ‘hobbit-y’ buildings. These are rather rustic, rather hand-crafted and show wood in a folksy rather than a contemporary manner. Hobbity is a non-technical term but a surprisingly useful one.

Anyway, some of the judges, myself included, argued that a touch of the hobbity was a valuable antidote to all the clever engineering and achingly cool good taste. We lost, and perhaps the clincher was when one of the judges described a submission as ‘hobbit meets Blade Runner’. I’ll leave that one to your imagination.

Ruth Slavid

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