Wilsonart, with Top Architects and Designers, Champions Responsible Forestry
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.
Architects and designers specify wood to bring warmth and beauty to their work, and many believe that since trees can be replanted, they’re a renewable resource. While trees are renewable, forests are not; still in 2017, wood species from threatened and endangered forests continue to be used in design projects around the world.
Wilsonart, a world leading provider of engineered surfaces, captures the unique beauty of global wood species and brings awareness to this alarming issue with 16 new laminate designs in the “Nature Undisturbed” Collection.
Celebrating and preserving nature’s beauty, Wilsonart addresses exotic woods and regionally-inspired patterns through its Virtual Design Library (VDL) of laminate surfaces.
Indonesian Rosewood is an endangered wood. Its timber is of high commercial value and wild subpopulations are widely overexploited with illegal felling, placing considerable pressure on this species. This VDL laminate design is a beautiful fawn brown exotic wood with full cathedrals in a deeper brown found throughout this stunning large-scale woodgrain.
Ikat is a dyeing technique used to pattern textiles which employs resist dyeing on the yarns prior to dyeing and weaving the fabric. Artisans from Central Asia created this weaving method with cultures across the world creating their own versions. Traditional Ikat weaving requires the artisan to dye the pattern into the weft thread using a method similar to tie dying. When the artisan is stringing the weft onto the loom, it is very difficult to get the pattern on the threads to line up. This is how the blurring effect that Ikats are known for happens. After the warp is attached to the loom, a solid colored warp is woven into the weft.
Quartered Koa replicates the elegant straight grain wood from Hawaii. This highly desirable premium species is not considered vulnerable. However, due to land clearing and invasive species, these trees are not growing to maturity. The species is not found below 600 M elevation, but can be located only in high altitudes in remote areas of the island. The woodgrain design is full of beautiful flaming.
Midnight Ebony mirrors African black wood, a near threatened wood from South Africa, which also is considered the first Ebony. Levels of exploitation are very high and larger or suitably exploitable trees are becoming increasingly scarce, causing concern over genetic erosion in many populations. The laminate is full of rich browns and ebony color with full featured unique cathedrals and bold graining.
Wilsonart Engineered Surfaces is a world leading manufacturing and distribution organization that is driven by a mission to create innovative, high performance surfaces people love, with world-class service our customers can count on, delivered by people all over the world who care.