23.02.2021. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), between 2000 and 2010, large-scale commercial agriculture (generally related to cattle ranching and the cultivation of soya bean and oil palm) accounted for 40% of tropical deforestation, and local subsistence agriculture another 33%.

Can we protect our forests to limit the impact of climate change and help to reverse biodiversity loss? With this in mind, British architect Tom Wilson hand crafted gorilla, chimpanzee, forest elephant and bongo sculptures, entirely from Sustainable Hardwood – Made in Africa, INTERHOLCO’s flagship product.

His ‘Forest dwellers’, one of the winning entries of the Conversations about Climate change competition, appeal to our inner consensus for more than just play or ornament. Objects of art, they are, at the same time, on a mission to spark much-needed questions. About the need to choose wood from responsibly managed forests. As well as about the impact that a material verified to be renewable and sustainably produced can have on the communities, locally, and on our climate, globally.

Let’s take a closer look.


FD Silverback Gorilla INTERHOLCO

Native to the tropical and subtropical forests of Sub-Saharan Africa, the Gorilla, largest of all primates that are critically endangered, is made from Sapelli (Entandrophragma cylindricum Sprague).


FD Chimp TomWilson


Native to the savannah and forests of tropical Africa, Chimpanzees are now endangered with habitat loss being one of the most significant factors.

Made from Iroko (Chlorophora excelsa Benth. & Hook f.) with a contrasting face and chest in Sipo (Entandrophragma utile Sprague, also known as Utile), both of which are native to African forests.


FD Sitatunga Bongo TomWilson

The Bongo is a forest dwelling antelope found in West and Central Africa.  

The Bongo is made from dark red Sapelli (Entandrophragma cylindricum Sprague) which is a good match for their rich chestnut fur, with contrasting stripes in Obeché (Triplochiton scleroxylon, also known as, Ayous) and antlers from Sipo (Entandrophragma utile Sprague, also known as Utile).


FD Elephant TomWilson

Made from Sipo (Entandrophragma utile Sprague, also known as Utile), the Forest elephant is perhaps the lesser known species of African elephant, living in humid forests.

Ultimately, Tom Wilson’s Forest dwellers are about the role design can play in making this a better world. Their thought-provoking questions challenge all of us who are instinctively attracted to wood, to buy responsibly and prefer products that are verified to preserve forests.


For further information on the Forest Dwellers please visit the following links:

Tom Wilson’s Forest dwellers

Tom Wilson Q&A

Full exhibition



Photo credit

Gorilla:                forest photo © Mike Arney / unsplash ; miniature : © Chris Jackson

Bongo:                forest photo © T. Britvec / INTERHOLCO ; miniature : © Tom Wilson/Curio Studio

Chimpanzee:      all photos © Tom Wilson/Curio Studio

Elephant:            all photos © Tom Wilson/Curio Studio



INTERHOLCO offers Sustainable Hardwood 'Made in Africa' as a responsible solution to promote better living conditions (construction with wood), reduce climate change, and increase social justice. As FSC-certified producer specialized in producing and trading logs, sawn timber, glued laminated scantlings and other products, INTERHOLCO manages the entire chain, from forest to customers since 1962. Harvesting wood selectively, INTERHOLCO protects 1.1 million hectares of natural forest from permanent conversion to agricultural land, giving 16’000 local inhabitants access to quality basic services and keeping the habitat of thousands of gorillas and elephants.

Communications contact INTERHOLCO

Tullia Baldassarri Höger von Högersthal
INTERHOLCO AG, Schutzengelstr. 36, 6340 Baar, Switzerland
Tel.: +41 (0)41 767 03 82
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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