Digital Design: Addressing the Ecological Crisis


Join us for a conversation exploring how designers, practitioners, and innovators can locally and globally address the ongoing ecological crisis. We are looking for practical knowledge that could be helpful in moving the AEC industry forward. Six speakers from architectural and engineering practice, academia, and fabrication will help us address the following questions:

  • How can we leverage the innovation in design technology to build environments that are better connected to a world that is increasingly complex?
  • What are the new frameworks and workflows that emerge from these new technologies that we have at our disposal?

This session qualifies for OAA structured learning credits. Get in touch with the Toronto DUG committee to get a proof of attendance.



Welcome Address

Moderated by

Digital Design: Foreword

Moderated by
Patryk Wozniczka
Founding Committee Member - Toronto DUG

Computing the Environment

Moderated by
Brady Peters
Assistant Professor - University of Toronto
Terri Peters
Assistant Professor - Ryerson

This presentation will be about trends in design technology for sustainable building design. We will discuss new simulation tools and computational workflows in some international leading practices based on our recent book "Computing the Environment: Digital Design Tools for Simulation and Visualization of Sustainable Architecture" published on John Wiley and Sons, 2018.


All models are wrong, let's make them useful!

Moderated by
Tristan Truyens
Building Performance Analysis Lead - Entuitive

An examination of how different approaches to how simulation can be applied to inform design and help short circuit the need to rely on past precendent. Focus will be on how approaches can be simplified to allow rapid application to keep pace with the modern design process.


A Computational Design Methodology for Building Adaptation Design

Moderated by
Sheida Shahi
Architect - Entuitive, Lecturer - University of Waterloo

Adaptation of existing building stock is an urgent issue due to aging infrastructure, growth in urban areas and the importance of demolition mitigation for cost and carbon savings. To accommodate the scale of implementation and address the complexity of building adaptation projects, the design decision-making process needs to improve. An early-stage design computational methodology is presented for integrating design optimization metrics, including energy use, daylighting, life cycle impact, life cycle costing and structural efficiency, to improve the quality of design options and speed of evaluation in building adaptation processes. Various design options that conform to determining design constraints are evaluated, and optimal early-stage design options are identified. The case of a modular extension to and re-cladding of a residential tower is presented for demonstration.


Addressing the Ecological Crisis with Mass Timber

Moderated by
Patrick Chouinard
Founder - Element5
Nicholas Zeeb
Senior Design & Cost Consultant - Element5

Brief history of Element5; How Element5 approaches projects with a design assist focus to ensure projects are properly designed with mass timber in mind; Perspective of the fabricator in the value chain; Looking at projects holistically to combat climate change (managing waste in the factory, less time on site)


Digital Design: Addressing the Ecological Crisis

Moderated by
Patryk Wozniczka
Founding Committee Member - Toronto DUG
Claudia Cozzitorto
Director of Design Technologies - Diamond Schmitt Architects

Closing Remarks

Moderated by
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