Mar 18th 2016

Pettigrew Delivered Urban Wood Lecture

Paul Pettigrew, Studio Associate Professor of Architecture, delivered a lecture at McDonalds Corporate Campus entitled "Urban Wood’s Journey From Forest to Classroom, Museum, Gallery, Auction and Home" on Fri., Feb. 18.

Paul Pettigrew designed and fabricated electric acoustic ukulele & belt-clip ukulele amplifier fabricated using spalted soft maple wood from a Buchanan Michigan storm felled tree. (Paul Pettigrew Photograph)

For the past 5+ years, the Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry, U.S. Forest Service has provided funding to the Illinois Wood Utilization Team. The Team has shared some of the these funds to support material purchases to be used in the classroom of Paul Pettigrew and his students. Funding in the form of raw materials over the past 5+ years has been in excess of $10,000.

Since Spring 2008 over 300 Architecture students have studied urban wood’s potential importance to the architecture profession and building industry. Hundreds of furniture and functional design objects have been exhibited and published introducing urban wood’s potential to the general public. These architects, students and faculty have been making visible urban wood’s potential once it leaves the urban forest.

"Paul has been an invaluable partner to the Illinois Wood Utilization Team," said Edith Makra, Director of Environmental Initiatives, Metropolitan Mayors' Caucus. "With his students, he has done amazing work to demonstrate the potential of urban wood. From a design and technical perspective, Paul’s students have stretched our understanding of what urban wood can do. The innovative designs and interpretation tells the stories of both students and this unique material that derives from our urban landscape and culture."

Current IIT Architecture Student Taylor Lilly’s Adjustable Height Table-Desk designed and fabricated using spalted soft maple wood from a Buchanan Michigan storm felled tree. (Paul Pettigrew Photograph)

"Paul has also been an invaluable advocate & researcher," Makra added. "Currently Paul Pettigrew and his IIT Architecture students are investigating pathways for McDonald’s corporation to reclaim dying ash trees on their corporate campus for functional objects & furnishings. The pathway Paul proposes is to turn dying ash trees into beautiful and useful functional objects & furnishings that will be auctioned off to help fund the Chicagoland Areas 5 Ronald McDonald Houses.” 

The lecture was delivered at McDonalds Corporate Campus/Hamburger University, 2715 Jorie Blvd., Oak Brook, IL 60523