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Made in Wood was a collaborative exhibition and research event between staff and Architecture students from Nottingham Trent University and Bergen Academy of Art and Design, Norway (KHiB).

The exhibition formed out of discussions with KHiB in relation to the annual Bergen International Wood Festival.

Taking inspiration from Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, the students addressed how global cities seem to challenge the laws of gravity, with soaring skyscrapers that compete to reach imposing heights.

Watch the video above to see the city of wood take form in the Gallery.

The Gallery was split into three distinctive districts overlooked by a bridge; each district depicted a different interpretation of a city scape.

The Bridge

Built to overlook the city, the bridge provided a focal point from all areas. An atmosphere of power and superiority was portrayed, contrasting with the ghetto below.

The Ghetto

Situated to the left of the bridge, this district represented the need for housing in built-up areas; how nationalities come together to build communities out of whatever can be found. A tight, enclosed atmosphere was created by the narrow spaces and multiple routes through the district.


As you looked to the right of the bridge this area was built to represent the historical industrial background of both Nottingham and Bergen and many cities around the world. It portrayed a ‘gritty’ atmosphere that was present before modern technology took over.

Lights of the Modern City

Placed at the rear of the Gallery, this district represented the growth of the modern city and how lighting from it can impact on surrounding areas. It drew particular attention to how imposing modern structures can be. The lighting creates a spiritual atmosphere and futuristic feel, acting as a beacon for all in the city.

Download a copy of the Made in Wood student brief

The wood used in this exhibition was kindly donated by John A. Stephens of Lady Bay, Nottingham.

Instagram Takeover #MADEINWOOD

For the duration of the Made in Wood exhibition we handed over our Instagram account to the students from Bergen and NTU, for them to create a visual diary of their experience. Check out their story on the Bonington Gallery Instagram feed.

Exhibition Handout

Click here to download the exhibition handout

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