Wilsonart’s educational initiative “Understanding Wood: Sourcing Against the Grain” works with leading architects and designers to raise awareness of endangered woods and provides tools to find alternate materials that meet their high aesthetic and functional needs.
Understanding Wood offers the A&D community CEUs, presentations, educational materials, infographics and research papers on this critical conservation issue. Tammy Weadock, Wilsonart Marketing Communications Manager elaborates, “This will help save protected forests, endangered wildlife and the very air we breathe.”
Key components of the Understanding Wood educational initiative include:
National Day of Learning CEU
Wilsonart invites architects and designers across the U.S. to participate in an annual National Day of Learning CEU on the topic of Global Forestry and what they need to know to protect their practices. The National Day of Learning CEU takes place each October at The Center for Architecture in NYC. The event will be livestreamed and over 3000 designers tuned in last year. The Global Forestry CEU, accredited by AIA and IDCEC, is presented by American designer and writer Grace Jeffers. Grace is world-renowned for her interdisciplinary and integrated approach to the design and study of materials. She is also the author of the Global Forestry CEU and “Design for Global Forestry” White Paper.
Wilsonart also sponsors a nationwide lecture tour which has already visited A&D firms in New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Minneapolis, Michigan, San Francisco, Los Angeles and more. Firms have responded positively to the content and the convenience of having an in-house presentation that is an approved AIA and IDCEC CEU.
Interlochen Arts Academy Partnership
Situated on a 1,200-acre campus near Traverse City, Michigan, Interlochen Arts Academy is one of America’s premiere arts educational institutions. It draws young people from around the world to study music, theater, dance, visual arts, creative writing, motion picture arts and comparative arts. Wilsonart has underwritten curriculum exploring “The Art of Ecology” and “The Ecology of Art.” As part of the course material, California artists Daniel McCormick and Mary O’Brien, who collaborate on ecological art installations that respond to environmental issues, have visited the campus and worked with the students on art installations within the forests at Interlochen. Additionally, Wilsonart is supporting the transformation of a Red Pine plantation forest, located on the Interlochen campus, into a natural, native forest. Phase one, which initiated in late 2017 and will take place throughout 2018, involves selective thinning of the existing forest and the reintroduction of native species.
Understanding Wood Online Hub
Wilsonart has launched an education hub with all materials developed for the program on Wilsonart.com. The hub acts both as a resource for the A&D community and a gallery of Interlochen students’ blog posts, videos and perspectives on this critical issue.
Responding to discussions with the A&D community, Wilsonart has developed a comprehensive range of laminate surfaces inspired by the beauty of natural wood with the intention of protecting our remaining global forests. Wilsonart designers and engineers have created beautiful and durable laminate surfaces that look precisely like their real wood inspiration, perform as only engineered materials can, and give designers the freedom to realize their design vision while keeping trees in the forests.