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International Architectural Roundtable: Concrete


November 17, 2015
by Elsa Lam

Bloom is a 3D printed concrete sculpture developed by California-based firm Emerging Objects.

Bloom is a 3D printed concrete sculpture developed by California-based firm Emerging Objects.

This year’’s International Architectural Roundtable at Construct Canada will examine innovative applications of concrete in architecture and the urban environment. How is concrete enhancing the aesthetics, sustainability, and community impact of structures? Panelists will also discuss the future of concrete, and how new technologies are transforming the realm of built form.

The International Architectural Roundtable takes place on December 2, from 8 am – 10 am, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

This year’s panelists include:

Ken Greenberg, Principal at Greenberg Consultants

Ken Greenberg is an urban designer, teacher, writer, former Director of Urban Design and Architecture for the City of Toronto and Principal of Greenberg Consultants. For over four decades he has played a pivotal role on public and private assignments in urban settings throughout North America and Europe, focusing on the rejuvenation of downtowns, waterfronts, neighborhoods and on campus master planning, regional growth management, and new community planning. Cities as diverse as Toronto, Hartford, Amsterdam, New York, Boston, Montréal, Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary, St. Louis, Washington DC, Paris, Detroit, Saint Paul and San Juan Puerto Rico have benefited from his advocacy and passion for restoring the vitality, relevance and sustainability of the public realm in urban life. In each city, with each project, his strategic, consensus-building approach has led to coordinated planning and a renewed focus on urban design. He is the recipient of the 2010 American Institute of Architects Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Design Excellence and the 2014 Sustainable Buildings Canada Lifetime Achievement Award. Involved in many grass roots and community initiatives he is a Board Member of Park People, a non-profit dedicated to the improvement of Toronto’s parks. He currently teaches at the University of Toronto where he an Adjunct Professor in the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design. He is also a co-founder and a Visiting Scholar at the new City Building Institute at Ryerson University in Toronto. A frequent writer for periodicals, he is the author of Walking Home: the Life and Lessons of a City Builder published by Random House.

Ronald Rael, CEO and Co-Founder at Emerging Objects Corp.

Ronald Rael is the CEO and co-founder of the start-up company Emerging Objects—a pioneering, creatively driven, MAKE-tank at the forefront of 3D printing architecture using innovative materials. He is also partner of the creative practice Rael San Fratello with Virginia San Fratello. In 2014, Rael San Fratello was named an Emerging Voice by The Architectural League of New York, one of the most coveted awards in North American architecture. Rael is an Associate Professor at the University of California, Berkeley with a joint appointment in the departments of Architecture and Art Practice, where he is the Director of the PrintFARM, a printing facility for architecture, research and materials.

Filippo Gabbiani, Co-Founder at Kokaistudios

Born in Venice, Italy, from a famous family of artists and glass makers, Filippo Gabbiani developed a multidisciplinary interest for art and design. He and started to cooperate with his family on the design and production of artistic glass prior to starting his studies at the University of Architecture of Venice. Upon graduation, he began working on a European Community sponsored research project focused on the use of alternative energies in architecture.
Following his instinctive curiosity for different disciplines and other cultures, he worked in several countries in Europe and in the U.S.A. before meeting Andrea Destefanis, with whom he founded Kokaistudios in 2000.
With the establishment of the firm in Shanghai, he moved permanently to live in Asia. In addition to his work with Kokaistudios, he continues his personal research in artistic glass design and the cultural promotion of sustainable architecture and protection and preservation of Asia’s heritage.

Brandon Clifford, Principal at Matter Design, Belluschi Lecturer, MIT SA+P

Brandon Clifford is currently the Belluschi Lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as well as Principal at Matter Design. Brandon received his Master of Architecture from Princeton University in 2011 and his Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the Georgia Tech in 2006.

In 2008, Brandon founded the award winning practice Matter Design with Wes McGee. The practice solidified with Matter Design’s rapid success in design competitions such as the international West Cork Arts Center competition and the provocative winning entry for the 10up competition, Periscope: Foam Tower. In 2011 Brandon was awarded the prestigious SOM Prize launching an ongoing research project in volume. Brandon is a highly acclaimed designer, winning prizes such as the Design Biennial Boston and the Architectural League Prize for Young Architects and Designers in 2013. His recent authored work includes Volume: Bringing Surface into Question, Range: Matter Design, and Volumetric Robotics: MIT Architectural Design Workshop. Brandon is dedicated to re-imagining the role of the architect in the digital era.
The panel is moderated by Elsa Lam, Editor at Canadian Architect.
For more information and to register, visit the Construct Canada website.


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  1. […] International Architectural Roundtable: Concrete Born in Hong Kong and immigrating to Canada as a child, Bing received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of British Columbia and his Master of Architecture degree from the University of California at Berkeley. A student of the 60's … Read more on Canadian Architect […]

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