When The Wood Awards shortlist was unveiled at Earls Court to thousands of professional architects, designers and engineers visiting 100% Detail and 100% Design last week, this national celebration of wood in buildings rose to a new level of promotion for wood itself.

The aim of The Wood Awards is to recognise and encourage outstanding design, craftsmanship and installation in joinery and structures in wood. This year there were 232 entries and the 24 projects exhibited offer a spectacular show of inspiration. Indeed several visitors expressed pity for the judges who have to select the winners! This promotion will be repeated for the woodworking industry arriving at the NEC Atrium for the Woodmex show from October 10-13. And after 200 invited guests enjoy the hospitality of the award ceremony at Carpenters’ Hall on October 19, more than 25,000 readers of RIBA Journal will receive the 20-page supplement of winning and highly commended projects featuring wood. The following week TTJ will also carry that supplement.

What is remarkable about this extraordinary new publicity for wood is the way in which so many generic sponsors from all over the wood community came together to co-operate and make it happen. The list is too long for this column, but can be viewed at www.woodawards.com where the 2004 shortlist and many other details are also available. Their original support in 2002 for last year’s Awards was a vote of trust in effective promotion, and their decision to go annual is now an investment in the future of wood promotion in the right place, and certainly at the right time. For this reason it is good to record a thank you to TTJ who have announced this week that “the journal” has joined the growing band of sponsors for this now prestigious national award.

Now, does anyone have a mate running a TV station?