Train Staff, Gain Buy-In & Create a

Pro-Computation Culture on Your Projects

August 28-30, 2017

San Francisco

Day One
Tuesday, August 29

Day Two
Wednesday, August 30

Chair’s Opening Remarks

Implementation of Computational Design

Keynote: Demonstrating How Computational Design Made a Major Impact on a Planning & Design Practice, Successfully Optimizing the Solution Through Computation


  • Discovering how an industry leader has integrated computation professionals into the planning and design workflow to deliver measurable value to the project
  • Differentiate how the planning and designs were improved compared to what would have been possible using traditional design methods
  • Identifying the challenges that occur during the adoption of computational design and how these hurdles were overcome

Panel: Benchmarking How Computational Designers Integrate into the Standard Design Workflow


  • Outlining the level of independence that computational designers have: who manages them and who decides what influence they have on a project?
  • Reviewing the timeline, in terms of when the role of computational design on a project is assessed and decided on
  • Exploring what the ideal workflow would look like to maximize the value computational designers can add to a project

Speed Networking & Morning Refreshments

Hearing How Computational Design Teams have Used Their Initiative to Gain Buy-In from Project Managers & Increase Their Value to Designers


  • Determining why project managers and designers may be reluctant or unable to use computation tools and what can be done to drive buy-in from these groups
  • Hearing how computation leaders have identified needs and developed tools that will help designers with their work
  • Understanding how the perspective towards computational design has changed over time, and how it has been affected by the roll-out of tools for designers

Understanding How Computational Design Can Be Adopted Across a Multi-Office Company

  • Chang-Yeon Cho Architect & Firmwide Computational Design Leader , Gensler


  • Provide context of global practice, opportunity therein, and challenges (talent availability, diversity and breath of practice)
  • Making grassroots effort work over multi-office champions to bring firmwide awareness and support
  • Finding the opportunities, a few needles in the haystack of projects across the firm.
  • How to navigate regional vs global needs and create tactics and strategies for making advancements in computational design
  • Examining the workflow and level of integration of computational design staff into a project team when the team is spread across multiple offices: was the adoption of computational design still successful?

Networking Lunch

Culture & Contracts

Panel: Reimagining the Culture & Contractual Relationships Between Owners, Architects & Contractors to Enable Further Adoption of Computational Design


  • Scrutinizing the ideal design workflow to promote computational design and what relationships between project partners would look like to make this happen
  • Brainstorming ways in which owners can be educated and encouraged to make these contractual changes and drive the right culture
  • Understanding the impact of computational design on contractors and what changes they need to make to their workflow to enable further adoption

Audience Discussion: Could Architects Charge More for Their Services due to the Benefits of Computational Design Across the Project Lifecycle?


The audience will discuss this question in small groups, before opening the discussion to the wider audience.

Staff Hiring & Training

Exploring How Non-Computation Staff Can be Trained & Encouraged to Utilize Computational Tools


  • Overcoming the difficulties of sharing knowledge and tools across multiple offices, especially with regions with no dedicated computation staff
  • Understanding how ‘set in their way’ architects learn best and how to develop training schemes that align with their personality and preferences
  • Identifying why tools may not be used to their full potential, even after training: what are the next steps to gain buy-in?

Afternoon Refreshments

Exploring How Computational Designers & Their Managers can Set Upfront Expectations & Build Trust


  • Creating a shared understanding between staff members when adopting computational teams for the first time: what are the expectations placed on each other?
  • Hearing how exercises and training can help to build trust and align perspectives internally
  • Understanding the importance of a strong culture within a computational design group: how and why this impacts success

Audience Discussion: What is the Job Description & Required Skillset for Designers & Programmers?


The audience will discuss this question in small groups, before opening the discussion to the wider audience.

Chair’s Closing Remarks

End of Day One