Lindsey Wikstrom

October 2, 2023

Public Records

"Public Records" by Chloé Bell. Image courtesy of Lindsey Wikstrom.

Lindsey Wikstrom is founding partner of Mattaforma in New York and author of Designing the Forest and Other Mass Timber Futures, published by Routledge in 2023.

Wikstrom will present a lecture at 4:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 2, in Ken and Linda Sue Shollmier Hall, Room 250 of Vol Walker Hall, on the U of A campus, as part of the fall lecture series in the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design.

In her lecture, “Care is Choreography,” Wikstrom will discuss how an era of renewable energy and materials is urgently needed. She will consider the role mass timber, with its potential to replace concrete and steel, should 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, this lecture will pause 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.

Wikstrom will explore why historically entrenched contexts of extractivism make such sensitive approaches to design difficult to cultivate across both landscapes and industrial frameworks. Along the way, she will debunk common assumptions about mass timber, including its fire performance, its strength and its role in carbon sequestration. Having identified contemporary technical, cultural and spiritual gaps preventing the transition toward a fully timber built environment, the lecture outlines how humanity must move forward.

Wikstrom has taught at Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation; Syracuse University; Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art and Planning; and Yale School of Architecture. She is the recipient of the Charles McKim Prize and a Visualization Award.

Her research has been supported by the SOM Foundation and exhibited at the XXII Triennale di Milano, Broken Nature: Design Takes on Human Survival. It has been published in Cite, e-flux, Faktur and Embodied Energy and Design: Making Architecture Between Metrics and Narratives (Columbia University GSAPP and Lars Müller Publishers, 2017).

This is the Miller Boskus Lack Architects Endowed Lecture in Wood Design and Construction.

The school is pursuing continuing education credits for this lecture through the American Institute of Architects.

This lecture is free and open to the public. Seating is limited.