“New Languages of Wood"
A Symposium / August 26-27, 2016

In celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design, at the University of Arkansas, in Fayetteville, Arkansas

Sponsored by Deltic Timber

The symposium will focus on “new languages of wood" in contemporary architecture and engineering design. The symposium intends to educate, demonstrate and inspire an audience of students, professionals, timber and wood industrialists, state and federal agencies, and the larger public.

Friday, August 26
5-6:30 p.m., with reception to follow
Faulkner Performing Arts Center

Symposium Overtures

Billie Faircloth, Architect, KieranTimberlake, Philadelphia — “The Beauty and Mystery of the 2 X 4"

Andrea Leers, FAIA, Leers Weinzapfel, Boston, Massachusetts / Case Study: UMass-Amherst School of Architecture

Robert McCarter, Moore Professor of Architecture, Washington University in St. Louis — “Frank Lloyd Wright: An Architecture of Wood"

Saturday, August 27
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Ken and Linda Sue Shollmier Hall, Vol Walker Hall

Symposium Presentations and Panels

9-9:45 a.m. Amir Shahrokhi, Project Architect, SHoP Architects, New York / Case Study:475 West 18th Street, New York

9:45-10:30 a.m. Jesus Vassallo, Architect and Assistant Professor, Rice University, Houston / Case Study: Detroit’s Corktown Project

10:30-10:45 a.m. — Break

10:45 a.m. to 12: 15 p.m.

Panel on Research (concurrent panel 1)

  • Alan Organschi, Gray Organschi Architects, New Haven, Connecticut / Faculty, Yale University / “Timber City"
  • Joseph Mayo, Mahlum Architects, Seattle / Author of “Solid Wood"
  • Benton Johnson, PE, SOM Tall Timber Research Group, Chicago / “The Tall Timber Building"
  • Ulrich Dangel, Associate Professor, University of Texas at Austin / “Turning Point in Timber Construction"

10:45 a.m. to 12: 15 p.m.

Panel on Education (concurrent panel 2)

  • Pekka Heikkinen, Professor of Wood Design and Construction, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland / The Wood Program
  • Kate Schwennsen, Director and Professor, Clemson University School of Architecture / Wood Utilization and Design (WUD)
  • Nancy Cheng, Associate Professor, University of Oregon / Oregon Partnerships for Timber Innovation
  • Zac Mollica, Architect and Tutor, Architectural Association, London and Hooke Park / Design & Make Program

12:20 - 1 p.m. — Thomas Robinson, AIA, LEVER Architecture, Portland, Oregon / Case Study: The Framework Building, Portland

5:30 p.m. — “In saecula saeculorum" (“For Ever and Ever" or “In Eternity"), the performance of a site-specific piece composed by Paul Haas, music director of the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas (SoNA), Vol Walker Hall. See more details of the program.[BROKEN LINK]

Symposium Chairs:

Peter MacKeith, Dean and Professor
Marlon Blackwell, FAIA, E. Fay Jones Chair in Architecture


Demand is expected to increase substantially for timber and wood as sustainable raw materials and for associated creative and technical expertise in the design and innovation of timber, wood and wood products in architecture and engineering. Although the State of Arkansas is a significant source of forest products as raw materials, the majority of the skilled processes that add value and transform wood products into finish materials happen in other states. The potential for further development has been overlooked, even though Arkansas’ central location, superb natural resources and legacy of excellent vernacular and modern architectural precedents provide outstanding opportunities for education, professional advancement and market development. Given Arkansas’ prominence in timber production, the research excellence of its state university system, and the national reputation of the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design at the University of Arkansas for design and design research, the School is uniquely positioned to respond to both global trends and state and regional needs with an educational, design and research focus, especially because no such program exists within Arkansas or any neighboring state.

The symposium intends to demonstrate to the audience the vitality of this agenda, by presentations of design, education and research in contemporary wood architecture occurring across the nation.

Registration to the "New Languages of Wood" Symposium is free. Please register here.

In addition, a reception and dinner will be held the evening of August 27 at The Chancellor Hotel, at a cost of $50 per person or $80 per couple. To pay for the reception and dinner, visit this payment site.