A year after launching its educational initiative, Understanding Wood: Sourcing Against the Grain, Wilsonart announces a renewed commitment to help educate architects and designers (A&D) about using responsibly sourced wood materials. To further support the A&D community, Wilsonart is conducting a second National Day of Learning event, launching a cross country education tour, adding new content to its educational hub, and renewing its grant to Interlochen Arts Academy— reaching tomorrow’s designers, today.
Understanding Wood was designed to fuel architects and designers with resources, support, and educational opportunities.
“We learned from our outreach last year that professionals in the industry are eager to be more informed about the materials they specify,” notes Tammy Weadock, communications manager at Wilsonart. “We know from visits to our online educational hub, downloads of Design for Global Forestry, a white paper Wilsonart commissioned on the issue, to the 1,100-plus architects and designers who attended the first National Day of Learning, the importance of this issue to them. We will continue to escalate awareness around global forestry issues and help end the use of endangered woods in architecture and design.”
Understanding Wood was designed to fuel architects and designers with resources, support, and educational opportunities. The program was established in 2017 in response to a national survey, conducted by SMS Research Advisors for Wilsonart, that discovered 70% of architects and designers place a priority on using responsibly sourced wood materials, but 99% of them could not correctly identify the majority of endangered woods from a list they were given.
Highlights of Understanding Wood: Sourcing Against the Grain for architects and designers in 2018–2019 include:
A National Day of Learning – Oct. 3, 2018
Professionals are invited to join in person or online for the second annual National Day of Learning on the topic of “Global Forestry and What You Need to Know to Protect Your Practice.” Registration is required. All attendees will earn 1 CEU HSW: Sustainability Credit for IDCEC or AIA by attending. The CEU will take place October 3, 2018, at The Center for Architecture in NYC and will be live streamed twice that day so participants outside of NYC can join.
The Global Forestry CEU will be presented by Grace Jeffers, an American writer, historian, and educator, who is known for an interdisciplinary and integrated approach to the study of materials. In 2018, Jeffers was named one of seven National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) ‘Insiders,’ a hand-selected group of thought leaders, chosen for their ability to push boundaries and infuse global knowledge and experience to positively impact the residential built environment.
To register for the live-streamed CEU: Global Forestry 101 with Grace Jeffers, click here.
A Cross-Country Education Tour
In addition to speaking at the National Day of Learning, Jeffers will tour the U.S. and speak with architectural firms, colleges and universities, and industry organizations and leadership groups about Global Forestry.
Educational Hub on Wilsonart.com
New content, including videos, photography, presentations, and articles, will continue to act as a resource for the A&D community on wilsonart.com/understanding-wood. A gallery of Interlochen students’ perspectives on the subject will also be updated throughout the year.
Wilsonart has also renewed its support of Interlochen Arts Academy, a premier arts educational institution for high school students located near Traverse City, Mich., U.S., to educate students on material alternatives so that they can apply and share their learnings with others as they enter the workforce.
New program highlights include:
- During the 2018-2019 school year at Interlochen, Wilsonart will be providing support for Lydia Hicks, a visual journalism fellow at Interlochen Public Radio and renowned wildlife photographer, to work with the students to learn the art of videography. Hicks will encourage the students to incorporate the issues of biodiversity and healthy ecosystems into their work.
- In addition, the ongoing transformation of the Red Pine Plantation Forest will be documented through video, photography and written content and shared on both Interlochen’s and Wilsonart’s websites.
- In Spring 2019, the Art of Ecology curriculum developed in 2017, including lesson plans, videos, and key learnings, will be widely shared in an open-source format with other high schools and educators nationwide.
“Last year we began the first stage of a long-term process to transform an aging Red Pine Plantation Forest on Interlochen’s campus into a thriving, native forest,” Weadock comments. “It is an enormous and important undertaking. The curriculum, called The Art of Ecology, not only gave students an up close and personal view of the first phase of the forest transformation, but also helped them learn about biodiversity and the critical importance of maintaining healthy ecosystems.”