Social responsibility should be at the forefront of every designer’s practice, as their designs impact raw material use, land development, and the health, safety, and welfare of building occupants.

This course will discuss one natural resource that is facing a significant threat from exploitation and development: the global forest ecosystem.

We will discuss how building product manufacturers can offer material alternatives that do not further dwindle the world’s endangered wood species. We will also dive deep into a collaborative project between an engineered surfaces company, Interlochen Arts Academy, and visiting artists to return a pine plantation forest to its native state while studying ecology, creating art, and educating a future generation of artists.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the importance of corporate social responsibility and emerging best practices to educate the next generation of architects, designers, and visual artists.
  • Understand the role forests play in the balance of a healthy eco-system and how that relates to specifying durable, eco-friendly products for the built environment.
  • Explore a collaborative project between an engineered surfaces company, Interlochen Arts Academy, and visiting artists to return a pine plantation forest to its native state while studying ecology and creating art.
  • Examine how using alternative design materials can replace endangered wood species while reinforcing on-trend spaces.

Pre-requisite: Basic knowledge of raw material usage as it relates to the health, safety and welfare of building occupants; Basic knowledge of endangered wood species.