2019 Agenda


Tuesday, October 29, 2019

8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

Registration & Continental Breakfast


9:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.

Welcome and Opening Remarks


9:15 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.

Opening Keynote Presentation:

Nader Tehrani, Dean, The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, Cooper Union

The Pedagogical Ethic: Beyond the Practical Imperative

Tehrani will discuss how the license to explore ideas through technology—without  the immediate demand for professional results—remains an important part of the pedagogical ethic. In turn, the very academic freedom that is part of the educational experience allows for the type of latitude that can have far-reaching critical results, opening up new arenas for practice.


9:45 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

Billie Faircloth, AIA, Partner, KieranTimberlake

Research in Practice

Since its founding, KieranTimberlake has leveraged inquiry to increase its design agency and the ambition and value of architecture. Having affirmed an integrated process as the basis for innovation, the firm has transformed the question “How can we afford to research?” into the retort “How can we afford not to research!” In her talk, Faircloth, a KieranTimberlake partner, will share a range of projects that challenge the role of research in architecture.


10:15 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Phillip Bernstein, FAIA, Associate Dean and Senior Lecturer,
Yale School of Architecture

Digital Disruption:  Surviving Risks, Reaping Rewards

How does the confluence of digital technologies—machine learning, robotic automation, sensoring, big data—provide architects with both opportunities and risk? This talk will provide an overview of how designers and builders can adapt to these disruptions by shifting their processes and business models and re-examining the fundamentals of architects' value propositions to the built environment.


10:45 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Innovation in Record Time Presentation

Mass Timber: Reaching New Heights

Presented by: Tanya Luthi PE Vice President - Structures, Entuitive

Sponsored by:

think wood


11:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Networking and Refreshment Break in Expo Hall


11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Yvonne Farrell, Co-Founder, Grafton Architects

Space Making/Place Making

When Farrell and her Grafton Architects partner Shelley MacNamara curated the 2018 Venice architecture biennale, their theme was “Freespace,” signifying openness and humanity in architecture, both in spirit and spatial qualities. As Farrell will show, those values are at the core of their firm’s work, in projects that are inspired by the urban or geographical context, such as their dramatic, vertical concrete campus for UTEC in Lima, Peru.


12:00 p.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Michel Rojkind, Senior VP of Architecture, WeWork

Built on Craft

In an era when innovation threatens the art of craft, Mexico City‑based Rojkind Arquitectos practices a design approach that explores the marriage of these two things. Founding Partner Rojkind will discuss how he straddles the worlds of technology and time-honored techniques to design buildings—from smaller scale residential and retail projects to larger, civic institutions—that draw on tradition as they look to the future.


12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Networking and Lunch in the Expo Hall


12:45 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.

Lunchtime Sponsored CEU Session 
Correcting Misperceptions of Mass Timber Fire Performance

This presentation aims to answer common questions about mass timber fire performance while differentiating design strategies associated with low to mid-rise vs. tall wood structures. This session will also equip attendees with a better understanding of the code requirements, fire design methods, test standards and available testing related to fire performance of CLT and other mass timber products. In addition, it will cover code provisions recently approved for the 2021 IBC that will allow mass timber buildings up to 18 stories.

Presented by: Marc Rivard, PE, SE
Regional Director, WoodWorks – Wood Products Council

think wood


2:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Fiona Cousins, Principal, Arup

Digital Disruption: An Engineer Responds

Arup principal Cousins will talk about how automation and rapidly advancing technologies are reshaping the design and construction industry, allowing engineers and architects to better harness the power of data, manage risk, and improve efficiency. She will also explore the implications of this transformation for the culture of AEC firms.


2:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Francis Kéré, Founder & Principal, Kéré Architecture

From Local to Global

Kéré is known for bringing a strong sense of place, materials, and labor techniques to the elegantly simple buildings he has designed in his native Burkina Faso. While his architecture has evolved—with a range of materials and structural complexity in projects like the Serpentine Pavilion in London, and Xylem, at Tippet Rise, Montana—he will demonstrate how the ideas with which he launched his international practice remain embedded in his work.


3:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.

Innovation in Record Time Presentation:

Quiet Without Compromise. Innovation in Acoustics

Presented by: Thomas Lull, Architectural & Control Manager, NYC Metro, Armstrong Ceiling & Wall Solutions

Sponsored by:



3:15 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.

Networking and Refreshment Break in Expo Hall


3:45 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.

Marlon Blackwell, Principal, Marlon Blackwell Architects

Present Tense, Future Perfect

As a small practice located outside the centers of fashion, MBA strives to produce design excellence in buildings of all scales while achieving architectural diversity, civic dignity, and economic stimulation. Blackwell will present his firm’s work—including the Harvey Pediatric Clinic, Shelby Farms, and the Fay Jones School of Architecture—to highlight the importance of repurposing, placemaking, and abstraction, as well as and MBA’s ‘both/and’ approach that strives for complexity and contradiction and all the rich beauty it offers.


4:15 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.

Ma Yansong, Founder & Principal Partner, MAD Architects

Breaking New Ground

Ma will present a series of highly inventive new projects, from the conceptual phase to nearly complete—Quzhou Sports Campus, Yiwu Grand Theater, Beijing Courtyard Kindergarten, Beverly Hills Gardenhouse, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles, and Manhattan East 34th —that incorporate organic forms and extensive greenery, appearing as natural outgrowths of the land and, in one case, water.


4:45 p.m. - 5:45 p.m.

Closing Keynote Session: 

Norman Foster, President, Norman Foster Foundation,
Founder and Executive Chairman of Foster + Partners

Settlements Without

By 2050, 3.5 billion urbanized people will likely live in informal settlements without access to power, sanitation, clean water, and mobility. Cost, complexity, and political impediments make it inconceivable they will ever be served by conventional infrastructure and buildings. Can such settlements use emerging technology, materials, and design strategies to create high-performance autonomous communities? Foster will describe how, through his foundation, planning, research, and technology are helping to transform such settlements in India.



5:45 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Closing Remarks


6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Networking and Cocktail Reception in Expo Hall