Wood for Wellbeing: Stockholm Design Week 2022

Wood for Wellbeing: Stockholm Design Week 2022

We looked to the leaders of Scandi design for the latest trends in architecture and interiors. Here’s what we learned at Stockholm Design Week 2022!

If you’ve ever spent time walking on a lovely wood floor or eaten a meal around a well-worn wood table, you know - there’s something about wood that makes us feel good. But why, exactly?

Panelists Anna Ervast Öberg of Folkhem and Jan Larsson of White Arkitekter weighed in on how Nordic countries are revitalizing wood construction. Architects are embracing the return of wood where concrete and steel now reign. This pivot towards the roots of building construction began as earth-minded innovation, but has since evolved into something more.

A love for wood runs in our blood

As Öberg explained, humans have an undeniable connection to wood. We know that walking through the forest can lower our heart rates and offer mental clarity. And while research is still emerging, it seems that wood has similar effects on our wellbeing. 

Larsson, whose firm has built some of the largest wooden structures in the world, suggested that our love for wood is something primal: “in the blood”. He described it as a living material that’s near to our hearts.

Can wood interiors impact our physical wellbeing?

Öberg cited a hospital study where patients surrounded by wood surfaces were quicker to recover than those in traditional hospitals. Plus, she noted, we are now discovering illnesses caused by some chemical-heavy building materials used in the past. 

Both architects agreed: People simply come alive around wood. The way it looks, smells, and feels appeals to humans on a basic level. And since we spend so much of our lives indoors, why not design spaces that feel good?