Résumé de la présentation

Overcoming the Barriers to Digital Transformation is a panel discussion on the challenges faced in each firm that is transforming their practice through digital approaches, with a focus on computational design and production process automation. Each panelist has successfully contributed to the digital transformation in their respective firms, however obstacles were encountered, and new challenges will continue to arise as their transformation journeys continue. Presentations on computational design and process automation generally have a technical focus. On this occasion the panelists will also be asked questions regarding the business and professional development aspects of digital transformation.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the scope of digital transformation, and differentiate between the hype and proven value-added applications.
  2. Understand the challenges of digital transformation in the business domain of professional practice.
  3. Understand the challenges of digital transformation in the development of design professionals.
  4. Learn about the trends in digital transformation, and what new value can be expected in the near future for firms that are undergoing transformation today.

Who's Presenting

Qui présente

Santiago Diaz

Senior Product Designer, Katerra



Santiago’s educational background is in Architecture, Civil Engineering, Digital Media Arts, and Computer Science. Santi has worked in the manufacturing industry in a variety of roles including quality control, technical writing and time studies. Throughout those years in the manufacturing sector, he learned lean manufacturing philosophies and methods. He then worked in design firms as a Computational Designer, focused on complex geometry for buildings with advanced timber structures in North America, as well as steel and concrete mega-projects in the Middle East and Asia. Today Santi is a Senior Product Designer at Katerra, developing software solutions to support the design and fabrication of mass timber buildings.

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Blair Birdsell

Structural BIM Modeler, Katerra

Originally from Calgary, Blair has been working in the production departments of both architecture and engineering firms since 2015 and has contributed to 4.2 million square feet of architectural projects to date. Now at Equilibrium Consulting in Vancouver, he holds down the production and data management side of their state-of-the-art mass timber projects, while continuing to expand his skills to support their computational engineering initiatives.

Alyssa Haas

Computational Designer, Stantec

Alyssa’s goal is to produce better design for our clients. With her background in architecture and focus on interdisciplinary design, she develops computational solutions that enhance practitioner design processes across Stantec. A key component of her role is to research and prototype workflows that make use of emerging technologies in the architecture and engineering spaces.

One opportunity for this work was on the sun shading system for the Austin Oaks redevelopment. On this project, Alyssa and her team used a collaborative, data-rich, web-based platform that reported the status of a parametric model. They were able to leverage data and generative design to more effectively explore alternate design options for the system.

If she isn’t at work, Alyssa might be exploring the city and the outdoors, usually through urban excursions or hikes. She’s also active in her local arts community, either programming visual art content or creating interactive art installations for music and arts festivals in British Columbia and Alberta.

Elton Gjata

Designer, Perkins+Will

Elton Gjata is a designer and design technology specialist in Perkins and Will's Vancouver studio, with experience in large transportation and mixed use projects. His interests lie at the intersection of technology, design process and project delivery. He helps lead the technology strategy for Perkins and Will's Vancouver studio, contributes to the firm's global Digital Practice group, and is a member of their Building Technology Lab. He is Perkins and Will's current Researcher in Residence, investigating the future of Design for Manufacture and Assembly.


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