The People's Republic of China is one of the world's main producers of furniture and engineered wood (plywood, particleboard, fibreboard) today.
Wood products from China furnish the world and shape our material environments. Yet little is known about their history, especially their connection to China’s mid-century revolution, led by the Chinese Communist Party.
This talk explores the socialist and Maoist roots of Chinese engineered wood and furniture production. It reveals the role material scientists, engineers, designers, and state planners played in creating ‘modern materials’ and ‘new designs’. And it shows how they contributed to making local resources, such as bamboo, one of the most popular materials of the 21st century.