Speakers

We are excited to be offering both live keynote presentations and on-demand presentations in a virtual platform for Banff Session 2021. Various registration packages  are available to help you make the most of this online experience. 

No content found

A Human Centered Culture of Product Making during COVID

Edie Adams, Microsoft

As designers of the built environment, the products and environments we make reflect the people who make them. They embody the culture in which they are made. COVID has impacted every step of how products are developed.

There is an aspiration centering product making within the Devices Design Team at Microsoft. It represents a shift, a reordering, to lift up human goals against those of technology, commerce and time, to re-order the of priorities in delivering on a design vision. COVID has seen us evaluate and adapt to with new ways of product making.

This session will describe how three different levels of design are impacted by a shift toward human centered product making in a changing world environment: organizational, product team/user and personal inspiration.


Canadian Modern Architecture, 1967 to the Present

Elsa Lam, Canadian Architect Magazine
Graham Livesey, University of Calgary


This presentation looks back at the history of Canadian architecture since 1967 and examines the present state of architecture across Canada. The historical portion of the talk is a overview of key themes from the book Canadian Modern Architecture, 1967 to the present (Princeton Architectural Press, fall 2019). The present-day portion of the talk draws on research conducted for a recent issue of Canadian Architect that surveyed the state of architecture from coast to coast. The presentation concludes with speculation on future directions for Canadian architectural design and practice.

Elsa Lam, FRAIC, is editor of Canadian Architect magazine. She was the 2012 winner of the Phyllis Lambert Prize for writing in architecture, awarded for her doctoral dissertation “Wilderness Nation: Building Canada’s Railway Landscapes, 1885-1929,” completed at Columbia University. Lam studied architectural history at McGill and architectural design at Waterloo. 

Graham Livesey is a Professor in the Master of Architecture Program (School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape) where he teaches design, architectural history, and urban design theory. He holds a professional Bachelor of Architecture degree, a post-professional Master of Architecture in history and theory, both from McGill University. He completed a doctorate from the Faculty of Architecture at the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands. Previously he was the Associate Dean, Director of the Architecture Program, and was a principal of Down + Livesey Architects where he worked on a variety of projects including: the Vulcan County Administration Building Expansion, the renovation of the Art Gallery of Calgary, the expansion of the Alberta College of Art & Design, and the design of Discovery House.


Compliance with NECB 2017: Towards Net-Zero Energy Ready Buildings

Dr. Mohammad Fakoor, RJC Engineers

As part of the Paris Agreement, Canada has committed to reducing greenhouse gases and energy consumption. What role does architecture have in achieving these goals? Provinces are adopting energy codes and standards to advance the energy performance of buildings towards the ambitious 2030 energy efficiency goals (i.e.net-zero energy ready buildings.) Alberta has adopted the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings (NECB) 2017. Key differences between NECB 2017 and 2011 will be explored, showcasing the required energy conservation measures for different archetypes that tie in mechanical/structural/building envelope strategies to comply with NECB 2017.

Dr. Fakoor is sought nationally for his deep knowledge of building performance, specifically for designing high performance buildings aligned with contemporary energy standards. A published author and lecturer, Dr. Fakoor actively contributes to his field through practice and research with his work extensively cited in pertinent literature.



Cultivate Relationships That Lead to Work

Jean Leathers, Practice Clarity LLC

The illusion that architectural work is secured through a pure RFP process is a significant hindrance for many architects when it comes to winning work. Relationships and how we nurture them are the real underlying reasons clients select one firm over another.

During this presentation, we’ll explore a 4-step process that helps architects to be clear about their firm’s position, how positioning drives meaningful strategy, how strategy then leads to claiming expertise in the marketplace and market space, and how to cultivate trusting relationships that lead to work.

Jean Leathers is President of Practice Clarity, an international consultancy devoted exclusively to helping architects build business through strategic planning, positioning, marketing, business development and cultivating client relationships. With 35 years in the architectural industry, Jean is widely published, speaks nationally (US), and has conducted preconvention workshops at AIA National.


Designing Construction Administration in the Age of Immediacy

Brian Palmquist, Quality-by-Design Consulting Ltd.

Construction Administration (CA) is usually seen as a necessary chore in design execution— seldom is it viewed as an opportunity to apply design thinking to improve CA quality & profitability. This presentation describes the design of a simple CA system called PATH that builds on core CA services, allowing each practitioner to easily & continuously customize a firm's CA services to more closely match their variety of Clients, Contracts, Collaborators, Conditions & Concepts. After explaining the basic elements, processes & media of PATH, the presentation describes how to evaluate & optimize your current CA systems. PATH principles are applicable to all practice phases.

Brian Palmquist has been an Architect AIBC and MRAIC since 1976. Architecture has introduced him to specialized consulting, contracting, teaching and most recently writing for student, intern and professional audiences around North America. He is the author of “An Architect’s Guide to Construction—Enduring Ways in the Age of Immediacy.” He lives and works from Vancouver.


Designing for an Aging Population

Susan Drew, Altro Canada

Senior Living communities, although healthcare environments, are residential in nature and residents need to feel safe and secure. Whether a new building or a renovation, a community should be designed to support inclusivity and encourage connection thus contribute to that sense of belonging that is central to not only physical health but also social, spiritual and emotional well-being. This presentation will discuss how the built environment can support this goal by understanding the underlying human needs of the residents and how the appropriate selection of floors and wall protection can promote wellness and support independence. 

Susan Drew, Market Segment Manager -Senior Living and Residential Healthcare for Altro, has over 15 years’ experience in the flooring/walling industry. Susan brings a wealth of knowledge to the unique challenges of the Residential Healthcare/Senior Living Environment. In the past 5 years, she has traveled across North America speaking to the A&D community. 


Designing for Future Mobility

Aaron Knorr, Perkins and Will

We are experiencing today a technologically-driven shift in urban mobility that is transforming the way we move, and live, in cities. This presentation and discussion will address the impacts of autonomous, networked, shared, and electrified vehicles on architecture and urban design. Attendees will learn about rapid changes in urban mobility and how to apply a values-based approach that supports sustainable, equitable, and people-first communities. A series of principles and present-day design opportunities will empower designers to make informed decisions that anticipate future disruptions while shaping a more livable and sustainable future city.

Aaron is an Architect and Associate in the Vancouver office of Perkins+Will. His broad experience at different scales of design has led him to work on projects ranging from higher education and commercial, to transportation and urban design. As an expert on the integration of emerging transportation technologies, he recently authored a report on designing for future mobility.


Ethically Looking Outward - Architectural/Interior Design Perspectives

Eric Pempus, DesignPro Insurance Group

Ethics is always a relevant concern that causes architects and interior designers to consider their past, present and future actions within the culture of the professions that they seek to lead. The perspectives that they bring as problem solvers must evolve with societal forces, from their ethical platforms from which they must continuously inspire. And these inspirations must be done by looking outward of their professions, in order to be respected by their clients, fellow professionals, the construction industry as a whole, and the public.

This presentation will examine the current Alberta’s Architects Act’s Code of Ethics and Interior Designers of Alberta’s Code of Ethics as a starting point to build from their platforms, empowering attendees to reflect back within themselves to be prepared for looking outward towards society. Unfortunately, ethical dilemmas seem to arise when design professionals least expect them, especially if they are unprepared to manage the transformations in and about society. As a take away, this presentation will then examine how architectural and interior design firms may utilize tools such an internal firm code of ethics in their practices, which is distinguished from an employee manual.


From Getting Places to Placemaking: Transit in Two Canadian Cities

Lisa D'Abbondanza, IBI Group
Jennifer Ujimoto, IBI Group


One of the greatest challenges that face North American cities is keeping up with the demand for transportation infrastructure. In this session, the architects for the Eglinton Crosstown LRT in Toronto and the Mississauga BRT will discuss their respective projects in-depth and in context. The team will compare the development of transit in Toronto – an archetypal North American City – to the transit development in Mississauga, a suburb of Toronto which is now Canada’s fastest growing city. The team will reflect on the complexity of planning and designing infrastructure; whether it’s solving immediate needs or predicting future demands. They will identify key elements of how to create more than just waiting spaces by finding opportunities to think beyond how we move buses and trains and focus on how to move people. Further, the team will challenge designers to promote the positive impact of good design in mobility projects by treating each transit node as a civic space – worthy of beauty, light, visibility, and comfort.

Lisa D’Abbondanza is an award-winning architect with 25 years of experience as a Lead Design Architect and Project Manager. She began her Transit specialization in the office of Richard Stevens where she helped grow the firm’s portfolio. Lisa understands all facets of project delivery and has experience with the complexities of providing high quality architecture while meeting functionality, resilience, beauty and value. Her experience enables her to build consensus without compromising design intent or integrity.

Jennifer Ujimoto has more than 16 years of experience in transit architecture, project design and management. As a designer, she is dedicated to the collaborative process that is essential to the practice and brings a deep commitment to design excellence on all levels. Jennifer's multidisciplinary experience, including award-winning high-end residential design, curation, academic writing and teaching, demonstrates her ability to implement rigorous design, project management and construction standards.


Planetarium Design Stories

Bill Chomik, Kasian

Join Calgary architect Bill Chomik as he takes you on a journey through his planetarium design projects. Bill’s intriguing stories include perspectives from all around the world.

A leading Canadian architect and award-winning visionary, Bill has over 40 years of experience – exceeding 700 buildings worldwide. As Kasian’s in-house Planetarium expert and Institutional market sector leader, Bill approaches architecture as a powerful vehicle for engagement and employs his creative thinking to instill a sense of public pride through the built environment.


Using Synergies to Enhance Sustainability

Alex Speigel, Windmill Developments

If everyone in the world lived as we currently do in North America, we would need four planets to support us. There is an urgent imperative to find synergies that will enable us to live happy healthy lives within the resources of our one planet. The presentation focuses on three case studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of finding synergies in the One Planet Living Framework to achieve sustainable outcomes: Zibi, a community-scale development in Ottawa/Gatineau; The Plant a mixed-use vertical village in Toronto; and Baker District, a public -private partnership in downtown Guelph.

Alex Speigel is a partner with the Windmill Development Group. A retired architect with 40 years of experience in design and development, he is strongly committed to a high standard of design and sustainability. He also works as sustainability advisor and project manager to other developers, asset managers and social enterprises as a senior consultant with Urban Equation.


Your Building. Your Future.

Ron Wickman, Architect, AAA in partnership with the Rick Hansen Foundation

Over 20% of Canadian adults identify as having a disability, and this number is rising as our population ages. 70% of Canadians believe that all new buildings should be universally accessible. Are you ready for the future?

Ron specializes in providing consulting services for persons with disabilities and for projects focused on affording individuals with disabilities greater choices for independent movement. He is responsible for over 50 new houses or home renovation projects designed to accommodate residents with disabilities. He is also committed to providing affordable, accessible and adaptable housing and has won several housing competitions.


Zero Carbon and High-Performance Building Design Concept in Alberta's Climate 

Mohammad Al-Masri, Footprint
Regan Moffat, Smith + Andersen

Energy efficiency is vital to the design of any new building – a requirement that is outlined by national and provincial energy building codes and, more and more, demanded by communities. Alberta’s unique climate, combined with the provincial regulatory environment, has traditionally presented numerous challenges when establishing and meeting sustainable design targets.

Led by Adam Stoker from the University of Calgary, alongside Smith + Andersen Principal Regan Moffatt and Footprint Project Manager Mohammad Al-Masri, this presentation will define and address these climate and regulatory challenges, outlining overarching principles and practical strategies from the University of Calgary Mathison Hall development.

Once complete, Mathison Hall will provide an innovative and integrated learning environment, facilitating meaningful spaces for collaboration between the university and the community. The project is designed to comply with the requirements of the National Energy Code for Buildings (NECB) 2017, meet net zero carbon ready requirements, and target LEED Platinum Certification.

With more than a decade of experience advising clients on building energy performance opportunities, Mohammad Al Masri is both a trusted Project Manager and a champion of sustainability. He utilizes his comprehensive understanding of national and provincial energy building codes, net zero design strategies, and LEED requirements to provide exceptional high-performance design expertise on a variety of building types. His past experience includes NECB and LEED compliance energy modelling on key projects across the province, such as the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. Passionate about conceptual design and simulation analysis, Mohammad thrives on assisting on the early stages of a project to help his clients achieve their sustainability targets. Mohammad is the energy modeller for the University of Calgary’s Mathison Hall expansion project.

With more than 15 years of experience, Regan Moffat specializes in the design of mechanical systems for energy efficient buildings. His comprehensive experience with institutional, office, residential, and retail developments includes a number of sustainable projects, such as the award-winning and LEED Gold certified University of Calgary Taylor Institute of Teaching and Learning, and the LEED Gold Mount Royal University Riddell Library and Learning Centre. His thorough understanding of LEED and net zero requirements sets Regan apart as a key figure driving excellence in sustainable design. Regan is the mechanical Principal-in-Charge for the University of Calgary’s Mathison Hall expansion project.