This is a Studio Elective course that cross lists with Core. Wood is inseparably linked to human history and culture. From mankind’s earliest use of sticks for shelter, warmth and gathering food, the increasingly complex ways that we have used and understood this material reflect the history of civilization itself. What can wood teach us about ecology, human history, ingenuity and culture? By examining wood's role across several diverse cultures, this class will consider our ever evolving relationship to wood through its use in architecture, art and design. We will study the work of artists and designers including Richard Deacon, Koki Tanaka, Louise Bourgeois, Giuseppe Penone, Bill Reid, Charles and Ray Eames, El Anatsui, Henry Moore, and Ai Weiwei. We will also examine the lore and mythology of wood through literary works like Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha, Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, the Enchanted Forests of the Brothers Grimm, J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, and Michael Pollan’s Botany of Desire. The class will include a practical studio component in which students learn historic and contemporary woodworking techniques, respond to carpentry design challenges, and develop a kinesthetic knowledge and materials understanding through the exploration and manipulation of wood and wood- based materials. No previous background or training is required.