Shannon Nichol

Gustafson Guthrie Nichol
Seattle, WA


Brigitte Shim & Howard Sutcliffe

Shim•Sutcliffe Architects
Toronto, Ontario


Angela Ferguson

Sydney, NSW


J. Robert Hillier

Studio Hillier
Princeton, New Jersey


Charles Walker

Zaha Hadid Architects
London, United Kingdom


How New Building Technologies Bring to Life a Local Narrative:
EDISON Student Residence, A Case Study

Rami Bedawi & Tudor Radulescu, Co-founders, KANVA, Montreal, QC

Edison Student Residence is located the epicentre of Montreal student life, adjacent to McGill University's Milton gates. The site endured a fire, which flattened the existing 19th century historic stone house, representing one of many narrative layers embedded in the land.

The historical context of the site became the primary inspiration for the urban renewal project, which led to the exploration of an innovative concrete fabrication technique: photoengraved concrete panels that enabled the building to bring to life a 1901 Thomas H. Edison motion picture. The project encapsulates an architecture that heightens intellectual and perceptual experiences of passers-by, stimulating active connections with our heritage.

The principle of convergence is a precious vehicle for establishing significant links between contemporary architecture and site-specific stories. With fading frontiers and ever-growing international generic design, it is fundamental that local communities profit from architecture as an expression of culture. The Edison Residence addresses these matters at stake through the use of new technologies that allow architects to develop innovative ways to express social and cultural heritage.

Rami Bebawi, co-founder of the firm KANVA, has become a leading figure in the contemporary architecture scene of Montreal. His unique background, multidisciplinary pproach to design and his visionary creativity has earned many distinctions, publications and awards. Rami participates in the academic environment, mentoring Master students and critiquing presentations, while also engaging in design conferences, festivals and outreach programs.

Co-founder of the firm KANVA, Tudor Radulescu is recognized for his critical approach, analytical problem-solving skills and unique ability to translate an idea into built form. He has managed a diverse range of projects that all place an emphasis on innovation and challenging conventional norms, which has resulted in numerous awards, publications and international exposure.

Architecture & Engineering: Driving the Process of Design through a Culture of Invention

Peter Olendzki, Entuitive, Toronto, ON & Dennis Rijkhoff, Snøhetta, New York, NY

In the rapidly changing field of contemporary design, practice is saturated with the flow of information and communication between all stakeholders of a project, and innovation is paramount. In this environment, notions of multi-disciplinary design are not flexible enough. Instead, our goal is to advocate for a fluid mix of architecture, engineering, and technology that can be harnessed to create a culture of "Invention". This creates a collaborative environment that allows for deeper insights enabling us to better address the complex goals inherent in any project. Using case studies, we will demonstrate how to push the boundaries of knowledge, experience or capability in the field of design.

This presentation focuses on the convergence of design, technology and engineering, and how they can aid in synthesis and expression of ideas rather than only analysis and production of built work.

Peter Olendzki is a senior structural engineer at Entuitive in Toronto involved in research and implementation of new technologies which aim to integrate architecture and engineering. Peter has presented at conferences: NASCC, and RAIC, and national/international architects: SHoP, Snøhetta, Gensler, BIG, GEC, and Perkins+Will amongst many more. Projects include: Ripley's Aquarium Toronto, Remai Art Gallery, UofT School of Architecture and New Central Library Calgary.

Dennis Rijkhoff is a designer at Snøhetta in New York City. He has a multi-disciplinary background and a drive to foster social change through design of the built environment. He has worked on educational, cultural, residential and public projects located in North America, Asia and Africa. Most recently, he has been involved in the creation of the Ryerson Student Learning Centre in Toronto, and the New Central Library in Calgary.

Understanding the Living Building Challenge 3.0

Laura Lee Ross, Teknion, Edmonton, AB

The Living Building Challenge (LBC) is the most advanced measure of sustainability in the built environment possible today and acts to diminish the gap between current limits and ideal solutions. In this presentation, we will discuss how LBC 3.0 covers all building at all scales. It is a unified tool for transformative design, allowing us to envision a future that is Socially Just, Culturally Rich and Ecologically Restorative. Whether your project is a single building, a park, a college campus or even a complete neighbourhood community, the LBC provides a framework for design, construction and the symbolic relationship between people and all aspects of the built environment.

As we strive to move beyond simple prescriptive methods of sustainable design, the LBC offers us an opportunity to delve into a sustainable path that is restorative.

Laura Lee Ross is an Interior Designer, LEED Accredited Professional and most recently has become an International Living Future Institute TM Ambassador with the purpose of raising awareness in regards to the restorative principles of sustainability in the built environment through the Living Building Challenge and the Living Product Challenge.

Laura Lee has been in her role since 2008 and has been an active contributor to Teknion's workplace intelligence, offering her expertise to the design community and on numerous client projects. She has over 18 years' experience in course development, instruction, and one-on-one training in various subjects including: sales processes, customer service programs, operating systems, and policy and procedure programs. She regularly presents product knowledge, workplace planning seminars, and continuing education courses to the A&D community.

New Materials for Design and Fabrication

Speaker TBD, Denegri Bessai Studio, Toronto, ON

A representative from Denegri Bessai Studio will discuss new material systems for architecture and interior design. Through the use of advanced technologies in computation and digital fabrication, Denegri Bessai Studio Architecture has developed a body of built work that is immersive, exotic, organic and highly experimental. New material arrangements and organization is central to this collaborative research-based practice. They will show project workflow, prototypes and process artifacts from completed and ongoing projects that have been created using these advanced techniques.

The presentation will explore the convergence of new techniques and technologies within a collaborative project-based design environment. This design approach reaches across varied disciplines and industries.

Trans-Architecture: Design Research as a Convergence of Practice and Academia

Andrew King, Design Strategies Director at CannonDesign, Director at AKA

Critical design practice, design excellence and academic studio delivery converge in a presentation of a series of interdisciplinary research streams, methodologies, process', built and design projects and speculative studio projects. This presentation will include a series of Progressive Architecture P/A Awards of Excellence, Canadian Architect Magazine Awards of Excellence from large and boutique practice, critical art practice and funded research such as the Prix de Rome of Canada program. Graduate level studio and thesis research streams from the McGill University School of Architecture, Carleton Universities Azrieli School, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art, as well as work from a series of Banff Centre Interdisciplinary Residencies will be linked to issues of contemporary Canadian practice.

Through an analysis of design research and design excellence, this discussion will attempt to make connections between three seemingly distinct research streams: large firm studio practice and culture, interdisciplinary speculative practice in the convergence of art and architecture and academic studio development and delivery. The convergence is important in re-linking how we teach young designers for the future of the profession.

Andrew King, MRAIC Prix de Rome, has led design studios in large and small firms across Canada and Europe, including his own research initiative, AKA. His work has been published and recognized internationally. Selected as one of Canada's "design leaders" by the Globe and Mail, he has been awarded the Canada Council for the Arts Prix de Rome, two AIA Progressive Architecture (P/A) Awards of Excellence and two Canadian Architect Awards of Excellence. He is an adjunct professor at McGill University and has held academic design chairs at McGill University, Carleton University and the Royal Danish Academy of Art.

National Energy Code for Buildings – What is it and How do we Comply?

Lyle Scott, Footprint, Toronto, ON

Alberta adopted the NECB-2011 on November 1, 2015. The first energy code in Alberta, the NECB-2011 is a stringent energy code that applies to all non-Part 9 buildings. The intent of the NECB-2011 is to achieve an energy performance that is 25% better than the Model National Energy Code for Buildings 1997, the Code currently referenced under the LEED rating system.

Arguably the most difficult part of the Code to comply with is the architectural requirements. This presentation covers these requirements in detail and discusses options for compliance and potential design solutions.

This session aligns with the theme of Convergence because, for the first time in Alberta, energy efficiency and code requirements are coming together - converging. This represents a major shift in our Province and will change how buildings are designed and constructed.

With over twenty years' experience, Lyle Scott, P.Eng, specializes in energy efficiency, facilities management, and sustainable development. He is the managing Principal of Footprint, a consultancy dedicated to sustainability. He holds a LEED AP BD+C certification and has served as a founding board member of Sustainable Buildings Canada. Scott has also served as a technical resource to various cities as well as an advisor to sustainability programs at various post-secondary institutions.

Warp and Weft: Modernist Interventions in Nova Scotian Fabric

Jane Abbott, Abbott Brown Architects, Halifax, NS

We are an architectural firm working in Nova Scotia - a province experiencing a convergence of forces: economic, out migration, environmental changes. In this presentation we unfold our design process in light of these forces focusing on a series of projects built in primarily small towns and rural areas. We explore vernacular form and how form can be manipulated to address new expectations around programme and sustainability. The results are modest modernist projects- a reinvigorated vernacular architecture woven into the existing built fabric.

We are interested in how convergent forces, specific to a province, can start to mold the design of a project. Indeed these are less concrete elements, yet they influence how a project develops with respect to form, programme and budget. They start to define a 'situation' and, in this case, a re-interpreted vernacular. The work of our firm explores the use of local natural materials and how this materiality can engage the senses and tell this story of a place.

Jane Abbott received her Masters of Architecture from Dalhousie University and concurrently the AIA Henry Adams Award. She is principal and founding partner at Abbott Brown Architects and a sessional design instructor at Dalhousie University. Abbott Brown has won back to back Lieutenant Governor design awards for recent housing and educational projects. Jane serves on Council of the Nova Scotia Association of Architects.

Making Connections Integration of Art with Architecture

Jill Anholt, Jill Anholt Studio, Vancouver, BC

Architects are increasingly being asked to incorporate public art into their projects. This reality can carry both risk and fertility, its success dependent upon the mechanism, process, timing and relationship established between all the players. This presentation will outline public art policy and funding in Alberta and elsewhere, as well as illustrating a variety of approaches and built results achieved through collaborative efforts of an artist included as a member of an interdisciplinary design team.

Convergence discusses how lines between professions are increasingly blurring and the need for architects to work collaboratively with other disciplines to realize great work. This session will illustrate how artists and architects can work together to achieve built works that can exceed what can be achieved by each discipline on its own.

Jill Anholt is a visual artist based in Vancouver, B.C. who has created site specific works in the public realm since 1998. Anholt's practice ranges from complex integrated works in parks, pedestrian walkways and transit stations to small scale installations in buildings and public plazas across North America. In addition to her art practice, Jill is an instructor at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver.

Communal Convergence

Andrew Frontini, Design Director, Perkins+Will, Toronto, ON

This session will explore design and engagement strategies for hybrid buildings, with a particular focus on sustainability, wellness and connection to place. Increasingly, institutions are pursuing mixed-use projects that combine discrete users and funding streams on ever more complex sites. Working within this framework, designers must not only meet individual users' needs, but also capture the benefits of the convergent communities that can result. Structured around four case studies and with an emphasis on engaging diverse groups in pursuit of common aspirations, the session will describe how hybrid programs and contexts can create new communities and inspire a tailored architectural response.

Mixed-use institutional projects have become increasingly common as schools and universities seek to optimize scarce resources. The convergence of different programs, users and funding streams create opportunities for architects to design for new experiences, rethink relationships to context and nature, and maximize building performance. This will foster vibrant new cultures around the spaces of shared occupancy.

Andrew Frontini is a Toronto-based Architect with 25 years' experience. His award-winning designs for libraries, civic squares and educational buildings have been published internationally. A graduate of the University of Waterloo, Andrew is the Design Director for the Ontario practice of Perkins+Will (formerly Shore Tilbe Irwin and Partners).

Passive Energy Efficiency of Buildings – Convergence of our Ingenuity for Sustainability

Sathya Ramachandran, Calgary, AB & Justin Pockar, Calgary, AB

Architectural practice remains at the helm of controlling the carbon gas emission and global warming through buildings. Passive energy efficiency is a one-time convergence of concepts that impact the lifetime contribution of buildings in complementing our efforts to maintain a less hostile planet. Achieving passive energy efficiency is an act of balancing theoretical and practical measures, as even a minor error may negatively impact its same ultimate goal. This presentation shares the means and regulatory requirements (through adopted standards); good and bad popular solutions; and logical rules of thumbs to enable the designers the freedom for exploration.

The era we live in is severely affected by the ever increasing impacts of global warming. The exclusive human centric focus has blurred and evolved into an all-inclusive sustainable global focus. Improving passive energy efficiency in buildings is a viable convergence of the Architect's ingenuity that retraces the historical respect and honor for the profession.

Sathya Ramachandran, B.Arch., M.A.Sc, is a Building Science Specialist with training and experience (over 15 years) in Architecture and Building Science. He has worked in several climate zones across North America. Sathya joined EXP Services in 2008 providing expertise to assess, design and construct high-performance building envelope systems.

Trained in Architecture and Physics, Justin Pockar, B.SC, M.Arch, joined the City of Calgary in 2007. Holding a LEED AP certification, Justin has worked with the National Research Council, and helped author the National Energy Code for Buildings.

Convergence | Divergence

Darryl Condon, HCMA Architecture + Design, Vancouver, BC

Architectural practice is under strain and is in need of significant change in order to meet the challenges of the future. HCMA Architecture + Design embraces this notion and is re-designing its practice in response. Their approach combines convergence, with integration of allied design disciplines and divergence manifested by a rejection of normative practice. The result is an intra-disciplinary design practice that seeks opportunities to act as a catalyst for positive change. The presentation explores design process, ulti-disciplinary research, post-occupancy evaluation, external influences such as artist-in-residence projects and wide ranging community engagement initiatives conducted by HCMA and its research arm, TILT.

The topic explores the evolution of contemporary Architectural practice using an intra-disciplinary design model with a convergence of multiple design disciplines.

Darryl Condon, Architect AAA, AIBC, SAA, OAA, FRAIC studied architecture at McGill University's School of Architecture. As managing principal of HCMA Architecture + Design he has over 25 years of experience, with expertise in civic, community, recreation, sport and aquatic facilities. Darryl is a fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, an Adjunct Professor at the UBC School of Architecture and President of the AIBC.

Lessons from the Trenches

Barry Johns, Practice Advisor, The Alberta Association of Architects, Edmonton, AB & Linus Murphy, Principal, S2 Architecture

Since being installed as the Director of Practice in July 2015 and working closely with the Practice Advisory Committee at Duggan House, several common issues impacting both design and practice continue to emerge from the trenches with our membership.

Explore these issues - with case files and sample projects - and learn how proper practice management can help you design good buildings that 'have a profound engagement with their situation'.

Every decision is a design decision. Converging the 'situation' by understanding the role of good practice management in the quest to make great architecture is another way to imagine how we can positively contribute to the built environment.

Barry Johns, Architect AAA, FRAIC (Hon)FAIA RCA, is the principal of an award winning architecture firm, Barry Johns (Architecture) Limited, that believes in treading lightly on the earth through the pursuit of authenticity in response to the forces of nature, culture, context, and place.

The firm is deeply involved in advocacy and regulatory matters with the RAIC and the Alberta Association of Architects, is widely published, and regularly collaborates with other practices across Canada.

Linus Murphy, Architect AAA, SAA, OAA, MRAIC, LEED® AP, is a Principal with S2 Architecture. Linus brings over 30 years of experience in a variety of sector and building types including emergency services, commercial, healthcare, residential and sports and recreation. Linus measures his success by how well the buildings he designs support the vision and mission of his clients and by how they perform in the long term — operationally, functionally and environmentally. Linus believes that buildings are enduring architectural legacies that enhance our everyday experiences, inspire and support creativity and function at every level. As a LEED® Accredited Professional and member of the Canadian and US Green Building Councils, he believes in architecture that is inspiring, sustainable and thoughtful — creating practical spaces with character and functionality that reinforce a community's identity and encourages activity and public engagement.

Accessible Architecture Beyond Code

Ron Wickman, Ron Wickman Architect, Edmonton, AB

Accessible Architecture involves a design strategy focused on the needs of persons with disabilities and our aging population. Unfortunately, architects and interior designers have long neglected the needs of this population that is growing larger every day. The author of this presentation grew up with a father in a wheelchair; he has over 50 years of lived experience with persons with disabilities as they have engaged the built environment. This presentation will provide examples of many lived experiences and demonstrate how through these lived experiences, we can design buildings and spaces to not only meet building code requirements and standards, but exceed them in the very best way possible.

One of the fastest growing issues will become; how to best accommodate persons with disabilities in the built environment. This issue should be led by architects and interior designers, but many other professions will need to be involved. A multi-disciplinary approach is the key.

Ron Wickman, Architect AAA, M.Arch., received his Master of Architecture in 1991. He set up his own Edmonton based practice in January 1995. Ron's interests and expertise is in barrier-free design that is accommodating the needs of individuals with disabilities. He spent nine years on the Alberta Safety Codes Council Barrier Free Design Committee.