by David Saunders
Woodnet has been a participant in an EU Leonardo Learning Partnership project with several European countries to explore traditional timber building techniques across the continent. With the support of the EU Leonardo Life Long Learning programme a series of exploratory visits have been carried out and carpenters and teachers have been brought together to share the timber building heritage and develop ways of making this accessible to carpentry students.
This project involving partners from France, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Romania and Spain, has now assembled an online, interactive learning tool and support materials to assist vocational training in carpentry skills investigating techniques of traditional timber construction.
The subjects include timber-based architecture and woodworking skills relevant to the needs of employees and seeks to increase the learner’s employability in the field of timber construction and heritage building restoration.
The intention was to collect and analyse examples of representative timber building types and traditional wood construction details encountered across Europe. These have been presented in a graphically-focussed web application and is available to used to develop new and innovative teaching techniques to improve the accessibility of buldings from other EU countries for learners across a wide range of skills.
A key feature is the ability to incorporate interactivity through the development of 3D models of the selected reference constructions which have been placed into an explorable virtual world. Learners are encouraged to interact with these models to learn about European timber architectural heritage, the different woodworking techniques used and explore details of traditional carpentry connections.
This tool has been now been launched by the TRAWCOE partnership and provides a student-orientated and experimental approach to learning. The various examples chosen from different countries provide a general overview of wood as a structural material and also various applications, across a range of European regions where timber is a vernacular building material.
The outcome of this project has been designed to be an expandable model and this virtual learning platform will remain open for future updating and interactive participation in building these technical and training resources as a long-term legacy.
The intention is to ensure that the learning tools will remain easy to use and accessible from anywhere, across platforms, without the requirement to have access to expensive and complex 3D or CAD modelling software.
This cross-border partnership seeks to develop this learning tool as a new model for creating interactive teaching materials and contribute to the evolution of informal learning methods particularly suited to vocational and life-long training.
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