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Join Carson Chan and Lindsey Wikstrom for the culmination of the Material Worlds lecture series.

The inaugural episode of Materials Worlds was focused on Mass Timber, and brought together the President of the Forest Stewardship Council, an equity and sustainability-focused real estate developer, a professor of wood mechanics and timber engineering, and an architect—all specializing in the material. The episode launched a two year long conversation about materials in the built environment that covered not only timber, concrete, and stone, but also silica, waste, and water among others. It has been an effort to not only to envision the future, but also to better understand the past and present of humanity’s impact on the nonhuman world, all in the hope of engaging the newest generation of architects to reassess the discipline in the face of urgent change.

The starting point for Material Worlds was Wikstrom’s book: Designing the Forest and Other Mass Timber Futures (Routledge, 2023), which was in progress when the series launched. Now that it’s available in print, we will take the opportunity to explore the critical questions it raises, looking at how the conversation evolved and became foundational to the direction of the Ambasz Institute and the discourse of environmental design.

This event was made possible through a generous gift from Emilio Ambasz. The Emilio Ambasz Institute for the Joint Study of the Built and the Natural Environment is a platform for fostering dialogue, promoting conversation, and facilitating research about the relationship between the built and natural environment, with the aim of making the interaction between architecture and ecology visible and accessible to the wider public while highlighting the urgent need for an ecological recalibration.

Carson Chan, Director, the Emilio Ambasz Institute for the Joint Study of the Built and Natural Environment
Lindsey Wikstrom, MArch, Founding Principal, Mattaforma

About the Speakers:
Carson Chan is an architecture writer and curator. He is the inaugural director of the Emilio Ambasz Institute for the Joint Study of the Built and Natural Environment at the Museum of Modern Art (New York), where he is also a curator in the Architecture and Design Department. He is co-founder of both Current: Collective for Architecture History and Environment, and PROGRAM: Initiative for Art and Architecture Collaborations in Berlin. With Nadim Samman, he curated the 4th Marrakech Biennale (2012), and was executive curator for the Biennial of the Americas in Denver (2013). His writing is widely published in periodicals like Avery Review, Frieze, PIN-UP, Texte zur Kunst, and 032c, where he was formerly editor-at-large. He holds degrees from Cornell and Harvard Universities. His doctoral research at Princeton University tracks the architecture of public aquariums in the US against the rise of environmentalism as a popular and political movement. He is currently preparing a large-scale survey exhibition on American environmental architecture at MoMA, set to open in the fall of 2023.

Lindsey Wikstrom is the Founding Principal of Mattaforma, a research driven architecture practice. She has taught at Columbia GSAPP, Cornell AAP, and Syracuse University. She holds an M.Arch from Columbia University, where she was awarded the Charles McKim Prize, Visualization Award, and Avery 6 Award. Wikstrom is also the recipient of the SOM Prize. Her research on renewable and reclaimed materials has been published in Embodied Energy and Design: Making Architecture between Metrics and Narratives, Broken Nature: Design Takes on Human Survival, Faktur, Cite, e-flux, Urban Omnibus, and others. Wikstrom is the organizer and moderator of Material Worlds, a speaker series hosted by MoMA’s Emilio Ambasz Institute. In 2022, Wikstrom joined Formafantasma at Prada’s Possible Conversation series to launch her book Designing the Forest and Other Mass Timber Futures (2023), published by Routledge, with foreword by Kenneth Frampton.

This event is offered in person; COVID-19 vaccinations and face masks are strongly encouraged for all visitors. Read our full Health and Safety Protocol here.


Organized by
Center for Architecture; Emilio Ambasz Institute
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