Thirteen of the world's leading architects were exposed to the virtues of wool during a week-long visit to New Zealands's South Island.
The architects were shown the merits of wool, visit farms and follow the fiber from the sheep's back to finished products before being tasked with designing a hotel which makes maximum use of wool in every aspect of the building.
The project was part of the International Wool Textile Organization's international wool promotion program and was mostly funded by the National Council of New Zealand Wool Interests (NCNZWI). It was conceived by the AIT Online architecture magazine.
The chairman of NCNZWI, Stephen Fookes, said that international surveys showed a generation of people had grown up unaware of the merits of wool, and that included architects, designers and interior decorators.
"We found the younger generation has not put wool on the agenda because they do not understand it."
By targeting the world's elite architects, Fookes said the project would not only expose them to wool but also result in a book to be presented at international fairs and architectural conferences in Europe, Asia and North America and promoted as an architectural template.
Reprinted in part from Otago Daily Times, New Zealand