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BBC Ideas Commissions Kong Studio for Sustainable Wood Explainer

London, UK
‘Will we all Live in ‘Plyscrapers’ in the Future?' is part of ‘Rethink the Future’ series for BBC iPlayer

Ever wondered what a plyscraper is? What material can help to lower blood pressure just by looking at it? How can we help reduce carbon emissions while still constructing the homes we need? Kong Studio was asked to create an eye-catching animation to showcase wood as a sustainable building material.

‘Will we all Live in ‘Plyscrapers in the Future?’ is the first episode of the ‘Rethink the Future’ series available now on BBC iPlayer. Using more wood in building construction can be renewable, safe and climate-friendly.

The script and voiceover were provided by Radio 4 and Countryfile presenter Tom Heap. They provided the perfect roots to get animator and motion designer, Joe Blaxland’s creative cogs turning. Developed with the guidance of BBC Ideas Executive editor, Bethan Jinkinson, Joe worked on the storyboard and style. Visual features include natural tones and traditional wood textures throughout.

 On the creative process, animator Joe Blaxland said –

“This has been the most challenging and most enjoyable video I have worked on. It was fun having to think hard about what visuals I could use that would be engaging for the viewer whilst staying true to Tom’s script. A lot of graft went into the design and I think that has paid off.”

The music and sound design, created by Josh Elliott, is predominantly composed of wooden instruments, including an African Marimba. He also set about creating his own forest of ‘woody’ sounds. Josh worked hard to intuitively reflect the timber qualities in the animation. 

The use of various woody grains in the visuals, paired up with the natural soundscape hammers home wood’s sustainable credentials. ‘Will we all Live in ‘Plyscrapers in the Future?’ portrays the instinctive attraction and aesthetic benefits of using wood in our homes and buildings. 

On seeing the finished film, broadcaster Tom Heap said: “It is absolutely stunning. I am blown away. Some inspired creative moments. And the sound design is really thoughtful. Just looking at it on screen made me feel good.”

BBC Ideas Executive Editor, Bethan Jinkinson, says: “I’ve really enjoyed watching this film take shape, and I am absolutely thrilled with how it’s turned out.”

‘Will we all Live in ‘Plyscrapers in the Future?’, and the rest of the ‘Rethink the Future’ series, is available to watch now on BBC iPlayer.

Music / Sound