Not that I’m one for name dropping, but Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen remarked to me at the TTJ Awards the other week how encouraged he was by improving communication between his business – the interior design world – and supplier industries, like timber.

This growing engagement was a boost to both, he said. Designers and other specifiers are kept up to speed on material availability and technical developments, while their suppliers can keep closer tabs on fashion trends. “It’s a recent change,” he added in his later address. “Five years ago you lot probably wouldn’t have been seen dead listening to someone like me and if I’d told my designer friends I was addressing a bunch of timber traders they’d have said ‘what, really?’!” And there’s more evidence of this meeting of minds between the industry and key markets. Over coming weeks, the wood. for good campaign is running its Innovation and Sustainability expo at the London Building Centre to get architects, builders and specifiers up to speed on the latest engineered wood products and the potential of timber generally in construction.

Also in October is another key event for the industry, the Institute of Wood Science Convention in Cardiff, backed by, among others, RIBA Journal, the American Hardwood Export Council and the TTJ. This will present a major opportunity for a meeting of minds between the industry and the UK architectural community – in fact, it’s the first time the event has been opened up to architects and specifiers. So far the latter comprise 50% of the delegates signed up for the conference and the organisers point out that there are still places for timber companies – so book now to avoid disappointment! At the Awards a few guests also angled to make a bit more of their ‘engagement’ with the flamboyant Mr Llewelyn-Bowen, offering to supply timber or sheet materials for his next home makeover TV series! TTJ had an eye to the main chance too and put ourselves forward for any of his more avant-garde projects that might involve papering a room with the covers of a long-established business magazine. He said he would consider our offer sympathetically.