International Course on Wood Conservation Technology
The International Course on Wood Conservation Technology (ICWCT) gives mid-career professionals an opportunity to further their education and expertise within the field of wooden cultural heritage. So far, over 450 participants from over 80 countries have attended the 20 courses held in Norway between 1984 and 2022. The ICWCT is funded by The Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage (“Riksantikvaren”) and organised together with The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and ICCROM.
All participants of the ICWCT have been working for some years within the field of wood conservation as object conservators, architects, engineers and/or craftsmen. This cross-disciplinary approach to the course allows professionals from different backgrounds and countries to meet and learn from each other. The course is usually held over 6 weeks, including a preparatory theoretical online session and a 4-week hands-on training course in Norway.
Participants build the theoretical and practical knowledge essential for diagnosing the causes of wood deterioration and for selecting the most appropriate methods for the conservation and restoration of wooden objects and buildings. National and international experts give lectures on topics such as wood anatomy, biodegradation, preventative conservation, structural repairs and the impact of climate change on wooden cultural heritage.
The ICWCT has a practical approach and favours learning by doing, with laboratory exercises, conservation workshops, field studies, museum visits and other excursions included in the curriculum. This approach widens the perspective of the participants and gives a broad and thorough understanding of the complexities and versatility of wood, allowing them to extend their knowledge beyond their own professions.
The course concludes with a practical group examination which awards university credits through The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).
Interaction between the participants continues long past the conclusion of the course, creating an international network of expertise which students use and benefit from in their professional capacities, exchanging knowledge and professional support.
“The International Course on Wood Conservation Technology is widely considered to be one of the best training programmes in wood conservation in the world for good reason. The interdisciplinary approach is an important way to transfer specialised technical knowledge about the conservation of wood throughout Europe and beyond, and the combination of theoretical and practical training, which has been refined over many years, is exemplary. The approach is replicable for other types of material and we believe that it fully demonstrates ‘power of example’”, stated the Awards’ Jury.