Malleshwaram's Wood Museum and Interpretation Centre was established in 2012 at the Institute of Wood Science & Techonology, with the stated goal of: "Educating the common man on the science of wood; on the fact that wood is not just a carpenter’s material; to make him realize that it is the usage of wood that would help in tidying the environment and tiding over the climate crisis."
From a 780-year-old giant tree trunk to wooden tools, the display is completely dedicated to tracing the centrality of wood to civilizations. One section invites visitors to pick up slabs of woods from different trees to understand how dramatically different each wood weighs, whereas another section is dedicated to the variety of seeds. Detailed posters throughout the exhibit present trivia and facts about wood.
Some of the salient features of the museum as stated at its formation are:
Colorful panels take the visitor into the world of wood. A story line entwines him beginning from the evolution of woody trees, through ecosystem functions of trees, and the man–wood saga.
Later, wood is systematically dissected from its macro form to cell ultra structure and constituent chemicals.
The later section is dedicated to different properties and features like density, color, knots, spiral grains, etc.
A section is dedicated to agencies causing biological degradation of wood. An attractive part of the WMIC deals with diverse products of wood.
There is a highly informative segment on wood processing. Interesting panels on tracking past events through the study of tree rings, engineered wood products, etc., are also there.
The last section suggests why society should promote wood use to make life sustainable; it ends with a slogan – grow wood, use wood.
Among the many artifacts kept, two large discs of teak form the centre of attraction. One of the discs traces the time since British came to India till Indian Independence. There is a wonderful opportunity for visitors to learn to count tree rings.
There is a full section showing modern products of wood-Wood Polymer Composites, panel and engineered wood products.
Wood-polymers composite samples, the important and advanced material, are also displayed in the WMIC.
Given the shortage of supply alternate woods have been widely created. Wood product made of plantation timber species- Acacia auriculaeformis, Acacia mangium like toys, artifacts and catamaran (Maesopsis eminii) are also displayed.
Due to large demand of wood, timber is being imported. In the process, this is resulting in selling the spurious material like Assam Teak, Malaysian sal etc. In one of the sections of museum, impact of spurious material is displayed.
In another section, how climate change has affected the natural resources like forest and the role wood can play in the changing climatic conditions is displayed.
The visitor is exposed to the many facets of wood – its history, anatomy, diversity in properties, processing, products, problems, solutions and many other nuances. The visitor takes leave with a note on the projected role of wood in future – a role to save Earth.