Designer and architect seminar on material use
September 19, 2019 | 7:08 am CDT

Photo By Wilsonart

NEW YORK - When it’s all gone, what will you build with? This question, along with others, will be posed during the third annual National Day of Learning, an event created by Wilsonart to help educate architects and designers about best practices in material specification. Wilsonart said it is committed to providing thought leadership to the A&D community to help them put materials to their best use. One aspect of that lies in the complexity of “real” versus “fake” materials. This year’s event focuses on the implications of living in the Age of the Anthropocene, a geological time period in which human activity threatens to become the dominant influence on the environment. 
Naturalness: Design in the Anthropocene, debuts October 16th at the Center for Architecture in New York City and will be broadcast twice that day via live webcast.
“We know from our ongoing dialog with professionals in the industry that they wish to have a broad understanding about the materials they specify,” said Tammy Weadock, Communications Manager at Wilsonart. “With mounting evidence that we have entered into a whole new geological epoch – one dominated by the impact we humans have had on the Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and wildlife – a discussion about materials and how architects and designers can make a difference has never been more relevant or more important.”
 In addition to conducting the National Day of Learning event, Wilsonart is also launching a cross-country educational tour, adding new content to an educational hub on its website and interfacing with the A&D community about how design is a critical part of the solution.
This year’s presentation will be given by Grace Jeffers, a writer, design historian, educator and artist. She has pioneered and continues to lead an interdisciplinary and integrated approach to the study of materials. 
In 2019, Jeffers was named one of seven National Kitchen & Bath (NKBA) “Insiders,” a hand-selected group of thought leaders chosen for their ability to push boundaries and infuse global knowledge and expertise to positively impact the residential built community. 
“Designing in the Age of the Anthropocene puts designers in a tough place: There’s a desire for authenticity when it comes to materials, but how do designers remain authentic to their concepts, their clients and the climate?” Jeffers asked. “Nature isn’t what it used to be. It’s a complicated relationship between the natural and man-made worlds. Material selection is critical to all outcomes,” Jeffers said. “Material specification is an ongoing exploration of finishes; it’s critical that designers have a firm grasp on man-made versus natural in the face of imminent scarcity.”
Highlights of support for Naturalness: Design in the Anthropocene include:
• A National Day of Learning – Oct. 16, 2019. Professionals are invited to join in person or online for the third, annual National Day of Learning to learn about Naturalness: Design in the Anthropocene, what you need to know and the implications for the future. Registration is required. All attendees will earn 1 CEU HSW Credit for IDCEC or AIA by attending. The CEU will be presented live on October 16, 2019 at the Center for Architecture in NYC and will also be livestreamed twice that day so participants outside of NYC can join. The CEU will be presented by Jeffers, an American writer, historian and educator, who is known for an interdisciplinary and integrated approach to the study of materials.
• A Cross-Country Education Tour. In addition to speaking at the National Day of Learning, Jeffers will be touring America and speaking with architectural firms, colleges and universities, industry organizations and leadership groups about this topic.
• National Kitchen & Bath Association Presentation. Jeffers will also be presenting the CEU to NKBA members nationwide through a second webcast on December 5, 2019.
• Educational Hub on New content, including highlights from the CEU, photography, presentations and articles will continue to be posted on Wilsonart’s website as a resource for the A&D community.
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About the author
Michaelle Bradford | Editor

Michaelle Bradford, CCI Media, is Editor of Closets & Organized Storage magazine and Managing Editor for Woodworking Network. She has more than 19 years of experience covering the woodworking and design industry, including visits to custom cabinet shops, closet firms and design studios throughout North America. As Editor of Closets & Organized Storage magazine under the Woodworking Network brand, Michaelle’s responsibilities include writing, editing and coordinating editorial content as well as managing annual design competitions like the Top Shelf Design Awards. She is also a contributor to FDMC and other Woodworking Network online and print media owned by CCI Media.