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An inspiring wood advocate, Canadian architect Tye Farrow

Wink Sutton, New Zealand Tree Grower May 2013.

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of experiencing a presentation by the Canadian architect Tye Farrow. Jane Arnott, CEO of NZ Wood, deserves credit for arranging Tye’s visit and for organising several presentations and meetings around New Zealand.

Tye is an inspirational presenter and an enthusiastic wood advocate. His advocacy for wood comes from his attempt to make the environment attractive and exciting. Tye introduced the concept of ‘salutogenesis’ - true health that comes from the environment. If the environment is pleasant and inspiring people feel uplifted. If hospitals are pleasantly and innovatively designed, patient recovery is not only quicker, but also require less medication.

An extract from a Tye Farrow google search produces the following −

‘The concept of salutogenic design moves beyond conventional notions of sustainability to encompass not just the building’s impact on the environment, but also its impact on users. It becomes another measure of good design. ... we’re no longer going to settle for design that is simply profitable, or efficient, or sustainable, or programmatically compliant, or any of a dozen other measures of design success,' says Ray Pentecost, Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.

Tye has wood-designed hospitals and public buildings in Canada as well as many other countries. At present there are no hospitals in New Zealand where wood is the major building material. Tye’s designs have won major awards. Patients have made very favourable comments.

Tye was awarded Canada’s Ministry of Health contracts for hospital design only because he was able to prove that building in wood was no more expensive than building in steel and concrete. We can only hope that Tye’s New Zealand visit has stimulated architects, hospital administrators and the government to follow what he has been achieved in Canada and other countries. Hospitals will benefit as well as wood growers. Examples of Tye Farrow’s innovative wooden buildings can be found on his home page

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