Book Talk | Lindsey Wikstrom: Designing the Forest and Other Mass TImber Futures

Tuesday, November 28, 2023, 12 - 2pm

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Three Material Stories (Lindsey Wikstrom)

Image Credit: Three Material Stories (Lindsey Wikstrom)

This event will be conducted in-person in the Library Atrium and through Zoom. 

For Zoom attendance, please register in advance here.

An era of renewable energy and materials is urgently needed. What role should mass timber, with its potential to replace concrete and steel, play in ensuring the planet’s survival? Retracing wood’s passage from stewarded seed in forest soil, to harvested biomass, to laminated walls in a living room, through to its disassembly, Wikstrom's research pauses at each step in the supply chain of mass timber to consider the labor and economies involved, looking closely at the way wood is grown, sourced, and transported, and its impacts on the biodiversity of the forest and the health of our ecosystems. Along the way, common assumptions about mass timber are debunked, including its fire performance, its strength, and its role in carbon sequestration. Having identified contemporary technical, cultural, and spiritual gaps preventing the transition towards a fully timber built environment, she outlines how we might move forward.

Lindsey Wikstrom is the Founding Partner of Mattaforma. Wikstrom holds an M.Arch from Columbia University, where she was awarded the Charles McKim Prize, Visualization Award, Avery 6 Award, and the SOM Prize. She has taught at Columbia GSAPP, Cornell AAP, Syracuse University, and Yale School of Architecture. Her research on renewable and reclaimed materials has been published in Embodied Energy and Design, FakturCitee-fluxUrban Omnibus, and exhibited at Broken Nature. Wikstrom is the organizer and moderator of Material Worlds, a speaker series hosted by MoMA's Emilio Ambasz Institute, and was invited to contribute to Prada's Possible Conversation series. Her first book is Designing the Forest and Other Mass Timber Futures (2023).

The in-person event is open to current Cooper Union Students, Faculty, and Staff only. The Public may attend this event through Zoom. 

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