In the mature forest, a clearing is made for citizens to explore the lost uses
of trees.
Designed to enable social productivity, the space is arranged around three transformation stations fuelled with sustainable energy : firewood, rainwater and human force. The structure of the stations is made of bricks and the table, the slab and the plaster coating are made of lime plaster, integrating local sand or earth. Little construction knowledge is needed to build this space, allowing inhabitants to step in the making of this public facility, inspired by infrastructures from the past such as communal mills or bread ovens.
Barks, branches, fruits and leaves of the autumn pruning can be transformed into consumable products such as colors, flours and plant fibers. Building those working stations on forest grounds welcomes all users of the forest to make use of its resources at all times, supporting local citizens of all backgrounds and generations to activate this pedagogical space. Through an open program of on-site transformation workshops, collective research will give birth to new materials and products derived from the tree cuttings, exploring new applications and envisioning circuits of production for those vernacular creations.

This initiative is fuelled by the strong will to challenge the binary relationship we have with forests in Europe, with the intensive wood production on one side and the contemplative protected environment on the other. La Clairière proposes to experiment with interactions that are respectful of the trees’ life cycles, using pruning as an example of that. Making openings for sustainable production in connection with nature will bring out the potential of any kind of forested environment and prove that a rich and diverse forest can be exploited in a sensible way.

To envision the products that can be made in La Clairière, go to Lost crafts of oaks and limes.