The future of Estonian wood and forest - by Garage48 Future of Wood

From an experiment in applying the Garage48 hackathon format to the very physical world of wood three years ago, we have now come to celebrate a growing community of people and organisations around the Garage48 Wood event series. And we believe this is actually still only the beginning.

The Garage48 third wood makeathon came to life in the cooperation of Estonian Academy of Arts and Garage48 and with the partnerships of Startup Estonia and Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications. As varied as the partners, was the event.

We set out to build upon our two-year experience of a wood makeathon in wood processing, architecture and product design and to widen our scope to forestry, sustainability and digitalization. Welcoming both physical and software prototypes and the combination of the two.

"When we were planning and preparing this year’s Future of Wood event I had a dream that we could bring all the different stakeholders connected to the wood and timber industry in one place, starting from architects, wood industry specialists, but also environmentalists and forestry management experts. I'm also so happy to see that not only did this dream come true but we actually got such different projects connected to the forest, seeing our precious ecosystem and natural resources from a different angle. And the winning team is a great example of this - they started off from a challenge how to create a system that rewards forest owners for not letting their forests to be clear-cut and how to help businesses become CO2-neutral also by protecting and preserving our forests, ” says our host and main mentor of the event Maarika Truu, Head of Startup Estonia.

The Garage48 Future of Wood brought together 90 participants and 26 mentors from 14 countries in the amazing venue and golden autumn surroundings of Estonian Academy of Arts. 13 teams built physical and software prototypes of new climate friendly solutions in architecture, wood industry and forestry - from processing open data to the woodwork and engineering in the workshops.

“By combining the sustainability of the environment with digital solutions and the meaningful use of wood with innovative ideas and talent, the future of wood event created a novel platform to connect different levels in the physical and digital space. I think that as a result of these kind of events Estonia will develop further fast and will show the world a right direction, “ comments Martin Melioranski, Head of 3D Lab in Estonian Academy of Arts, coorganizer and mentor of the event.

As climate friendly solutions and sustainability were one of the key directions for this year’s wood makeathon, we were so glad and honoured to welcome our amazing president Kersti Kaljulaid to show her support to the event and mentor the teams. In her speech to the participants she said: “I am very glad and grateful to Garage48 and this event for moving towards the climate change problem. You as participants are doing here two things - helping us all find practical ways how to keep CO2 in the wood, and working on wood to give us more than just fire. You are also encouraging us politicians to understand that the situation is not hopeless and that you care. Your positive feedback loop makes us act.”

Celebrating the wood community power - thank you to our partners, supporters, mentors and team!

Additionally to the organising partners, we had a real joy to hold the wood makeathon together with our sponsoring partners, who share the vision of open collaboration, teamwork and climate friendly direction in the future of wood. The joy is only greater if a partnership is creative and hands-on. Thank you, Rothoblaas mentoring and providing materials, Metsä Wood for mentoring and combining the Open Source Wood platform challenge with the event and Tampere University and Business Finland for challenging teams on the Nordic Tower!

“Future of wood indeed. Combining Open Source Wood ( to the proven Garage 48 concept turned out as an inspiring weekend filled with innovation, cross industry teamwork and a joyful atmosphere of experimentation with wood. The results at the end of the weekend were amazing and proved the power of collaboration and open knowledge sharing, the fundamentals of Open Source Wood initiative,” reflects Tuukka Kyläkallio, Business Development Manager at Metsä Wood.

A huge thank you and shoutout goes to our crowd of mentors - for taking the time off your weekend and helping to make this event happen!

Special thanks to the Estonian Academy of Arts workshop mentors for keeping the machines rolling and the sawdust flying.

And last but not least - the busy and forever happy volunteers and organising team.

We couldn’t have done it without you!

A very special mention goes to the people behind the fact that the first wood makeathon came to life and that we've made it to three - Lauri Semevsky and Jörgen Dobris together with TSENTER Centre of Competence for Wood Processing and Furniture Manufacturing, Renee Puusepp and Martin Melioranski together with Estonian Academy of Arts and Maarika Truu, Anu Piirisild and Kadri Kõivik together with Garage48.

And now without further wait, we’re presenting 

The winners of the Garage48 Future of Wood makeathon



Tickets to Latitude59

Cleantech ForEst special prize - pass to Climathon 2020

Tehnopol special prize - tickets to GreenEST Summit

We're creating a system that rewards forest owners for not letting their forests to be clear-cut. By building a solution where companies that cause CO2 emissions can buy carbon offset from local forest owners, we are helping these businesses become CO2-neutral and protecting and preserving our forests.

Winner prize: Tickets to Latitude59

Team: Merit - Marketing, Fred , Kaspar, Will, Martti, Andrus - Data, Kristel - Adviser, Kaiko - Engineer, Asse - Adviser

1st RUNNER-UP - Virtual factory

Pass to Ajujaht TOP 100

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications special prize - Tickets to World Summit on Digital Built Environment


United production capacity.

Team: Annika, Raiko, Siim - visionaries; Aili, Martin - realists, Martin, Kristjan, Steven, Ismet - developers, Vello - designer.

"With the help of digital solutions, both orders and resources can be optimized and as a result everybody wins. We’re contributing to the success of this business model and believe that this solution will help develop smart construction and take the Estonian wooden houses sector to the next level in international competition," comments on the special prize the Head of Digital Construction at Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Jaan Saar.

2-nd RUNNER UP - Klick

Estonian Academy of Arts goodie bags

We have designed an assembly system for wooden modular prefab housing. This system uses less material and reduces the time spent on the construction site. In order to achieve this we have combined traditional wooden joints with new prefabrication technology.

Team: Egle Vogt - team leader, Ivari Hiiemäe, Martin Ojamaa, Jael Kotkas, Jaanus Pars - engineers, Henri Richard Talgre, Marianna Zvereva, Johannes Aasmäe - architects, Martin Babic, Jodee Bugarszki, Liina Veski - designers.

2-nd RUNNER-UP - Honest Edge

Tickets to sTARTUp Day 2020

We are combining ideas of honesty and recycling in a table.

Team: Elena Lara Calderero, Elena Dorado Pérez, Cris Aguadé Cárdenas, Sandra Sugako - Designers, Adrià Benaiges Harbig, Van Anh Tran - Product Designer, Rasa Silga Kopmane - Product designers, Ivan Tenishchev - Product Designer, pitching.

Favourite of the Audience - Pagerr

Tehnopol special prize - tickets to GreenEST Summit

Pagerr tehcnology adds your pintables to unused printing areas. In other words, we use the paper that otherwise would be thrown away.

We have been ordering printable goods over 8 years for our publishing house and have seen how much material is wasted in printing houses. Its 50 tons of paper every day in Estonian printing houses, which is 7% of total production.

Our secret sauce is the unused potential of printing houses. Cause it's a clear win-win situation for all parties: Printing houses can turn waste into profit and sell that unused potential with zero-hassle; customers can benefit from best prices, Zero-waste printing, and fast production. We see, that it's an issue that can be solved only by us. With a network of printing houses, we offer fast production, high quality and best price at the same time.

Team: Rudolf-Gustav Hanni - CEO , Toivo Hanni - web developer, Renata Johanson - product designer, Alexis Matheis - software developer, Tailer Dšonson - web developer, Elo Johanna Kuklane - marketing.

Open Source Wood challenge winner of 1500€ - to be announced!

Nordic Tower challenge winner of 2000€ - to be announced!

See all the teams and their projects in our Favourite of the Audience album.

Our final demos can be after-watched in our Facebook live video.

All the photos of the event by Maido Parv are in our Facebook album.

See you at the fourth Garage48 wood event!

About the author

kadri tiisvelt

Kadri is the COO of Garage48 with years of experience as a hackathon organizer and community builder. She loves to create and bring together supportive environments for starting entrepreneurs who wish to make their ideas into valuable services and products. 🌸

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