TAP Symposium at A'23

When:  Jun 7, 2023 from 09:00 AM to 06:30 PM (PT)

TAP Symposium at A'23

A continuation of our TAP Building Connections Congress (BCC) series

Wednesday, Jun 7  |  San Francisco |  Hosted at the AIA Conference on Architecture


Whether it is talking to a virtual assistant to inquire about the weather or ordering groceries, our process for doing everyday tasks has evolved due to new technology. Our industry is not immune to this change, but our adoption has been slow and uneven. There are several factors that contribute to this. To better equip ourselves for the future, we must investigate our approach to architecture in the age of the fourth industrial revolution.   

Join us as we discuss the architect of now, charting the use of digital tools starting with CAD, the transition to BIM and computational design, and the emergence of big data. Our exploration will review the impact of technology on education and the preparation of students entering the workforce, the relationship between practice and our technology providers and the pros and cons of AEC firms developing their own software.  

This year’s congress will consist of the keynote lecture and three panel discussions with representatives from the architectural, education, software and legal communities. We will conclude with a round table discussion where participants will define how the architect of 2030 will learn, develop as a professional and practice. 

How to register - SOLD OUT!

  • Are you already attending A'23? Register for the full conference (platinum/gold/silver pass) registration package at A'23, then use the code TAP100 for no additional cost in order to add this all-day event to your registration!
  • Are you only planning to attend this event? You can register for only this one day of A'23 - When selecting your pass, scroll down and select "Knowledge Community Symposium" registration package, then use the code for TAP100 for no additional cost! You will also be welcome to visit the Expo on Thursday and Friday.
  • Whichever level you choose, all registrations should be done on conferenceonarchitecture.com - use this link to register. Please note that prices will go up after the early bird deadline of April 5!



9:00am - Introduction to TAP Buildings Connection Congress
Presenter: Joel Martineau, 2023 TAP Chair

9:15am - Keynote: Technology and its Impact on Our Profession
Presenter: Shane Burger

Project delivery continues to embrace new processes with technology as a key component. Whether it is the adoption of new tools that take advantage of advances in computing power, or the integration of concepts such as big data or computer programming, we must re-evaluate how we prepare not only future architects, but how firms manage the new roles and skillsets required to thrive in this ever-evolving technological landscape.  Our keynote lecture will focus on how education, practice and process must each pivot to take advantage of the benefits available, and explore software development as an AEC firm.

10:15am - Panel Discussion 1: Shift in Skillsets (Education vs. Practice)
Panelists: Dr. Kwesi Daniels, Matt Goldsberry, Jason Pugh, Chia Patterson, (Moderator: Cesar Escalante)

While technology is taught in educational institutions, the focus is often on a particular tool and not the application of concepts. Institutions that do focus on concepts are less common. To effectively use big data, knowledge of statistics is helpful. Likewise, to build scripts for computational design may require some knowledge of computer programming. 

Should these topics become required electives for individuals that choose to pursue careers in the AEC industry? Should professional registration address design technology? Are employers willing to hire people that will need to develop these skills on company time? Join our panel as they debate the future of architectural education and licensure.

Lunch: 11:45 – 12:45 pm 

12:45pm - Panel Discussion 2 – Do It Yourself (Process) 
Panelists: Robert Yuen, Kyle Bernhardt (Moderator: Thesla Collier)

Tired of managing a technology stack that continues to increase in budget with diminishing returns? Perhaps it is time for your firm to consider internal software development. What is entailed in creating your own software? And what are the risks?  

There are several avenues for sharing code and building on the work done by other partners. What impact, if any, does this have on competitive advantage? Is it what tools you have access to, or how you use those tools to deliver value to your clients? Join our panel as we discuss the pros and cons of AEC firms managing software development.  

2:15pm - Panel Discussion 3: Relationship with Technology (Practice vs. Process)
Panelists: Vickie Harris, Matt Wheelis, Sam Omans, Kim Dowdell (Moderator: Brad Prestbo)

There has been a lot of debate within the architectural community about the lack of software development required to keep pace with the evolution of project delivery. Traditional deliverables of paper documents are being replaced with models and data exports. Some firms have responded by developing their own software, either as add ins to industry common tools or as stand-alone applications. 

Join our panel as we examine the relationship our industry has with software companies, and what organizations such as the AIA can do to help to advocate for meaningful change that benefits both parties     

3:45pm - Coffee Break 

4:00pm Round Table  Closing Remarks: The Architect of 2025
All participants break into groups and discuss what the future of architectural education and practice looks like. Each group will then have 3 minutes to present their findings, followed by brief closing remarks by Joel Martineau, 2023 Chair for TAP. 

5:30pm - Reception 





Bradford Prestbo

Bradford J. Presbo, FAIA
Boston Office Director, Studio NYL

An exceptional leader, Bradford J. Prestbo, FAIA, is advancing the profession through his practice, advocacy, and educational efforts in the use of cutting-edge design technologies, high-performance design, and the incorporation of maker culture into the design process. He has practiced internationally, is a sought-after speaker, is frequently interviewed by publishers, and is an educator via his detailing workshops, higher-education classes, design juries, and mentorship of emerging professionals.

Cesar R. Escalante

Cesar R. Escalante
Technical Marketing Manager, Autodesk

Cesar Escalante serves as Technical Marketing Manager at Autodesk. Before his current tenure, Cesar held design technology leadership positions at large corporate architectural firms, including Gensler and HOK where he provided technical leadership in the design technology strategy, execution, and delivery of the large complex multi-million dollar projects.

Ijechukwuamaka (Chia) Patterson

Ijechukwuamaka Patterson
Design Intern and Teacher Assistant, Clark Nexsen and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Ijechukwuamaka Patterson is an aspiring architect and computational designer. As an academic researcher and student, her projects often address relevant economic, socio-cultural, and environmental challenges impacting local and global communities. Chia now hopes to serve everyday people and their needs by developing resilient spaces and places, along with ideological and technological complements as agents of improvement and empowerment.

Her aspirations stem from her recent visits and a brief but incredibly impactful upbringing in Lagos, Nigeria, which provided initial exposure to the AEC industry through her parents. Her interest in computation began while participating in ECU’s chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers. This May she graduates from a dual degree program in computational design at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, receiving her M.Arch and M.Sc. in Information Technology.

Chia has been hands-on in assisting with the teaching of the same computational methods and practice courses that encouraged her pursuits. Post-Grad, she looks forward to transitioning to a full-time designer role at Clark Nexsen where she's had the great pleasure of working on computational efforts as a design intern. She’s excited about her emergence as a professional and continued involvement with the AIA, NOMA, NSBE, and USGBC.

Jason Pugh

Principal & Global Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Gensler

Jason Pugh, AIA, AICP, NOMAC, LEED AP is a licensed architect, certified planner, and a Principal at Gensler where he serves as the Global Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. His diverse training and expertise allow him to take a unique approach to complicated projects centered on cultural connectivity and participatory community design. His portfolio spans both foreign and domestic projects, and includes transit-oriented developments, mixed-use residential, commercial office, retail, and affordable housing. His favorite projects include those which afford opportunities to directly engage with end-users and the extended community as he oscillates between the macro and micro scales to progress projects from preliminary master planning concepts through full construction.

Pugh has a passion for developing underserved communities and the next generation of designers and architects. He is the Immediate Past National President of NOMA (National Organization of Minority Architects), and a member of the NOMA Council, the highest honored elevation in the organization. Jason also serves on Chicago’s Executive Board for the ACE Mentor Program.

Pugh has a Bachelor of Arts from Howard University, one of seven Historically Black Colleges and Universities with an architecture accreditation, and a Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design from Columbia University.

Joel Martineau, Assoc. AIA

Joel Martineau, Assoc. AIA
Senior Customer Success Manager, dRofus

Transforming pen strokes on paper to buildings has always been Joel’s passion. After completing his Bachelor of Architecture degree, he worked for several years in multiple sectors on projects ranging from student centers to the development of new campuses. He became interested in how changing technologies were impacting the practice of architecture, which led to a career shift with a focus on design technology, developing strategies and workflows for project teams to implement. Joel advocates for the use of software and tools to foster creativity and innovation, as well as improve the design, delivery, and handover of facilities to clients.

A graduate of Howard University, Joel currently serves on the AIA TAP Leadership group. He has previously presented at ENR Buildtech, BiLT Asia and BiLT Europe, as well as authored articles that have been published in several US and UK magazines, including the RIBA Journal online.

Kimberly Dowdell

Kimberly N. Dowdell, AIA, NOMAC
2023 First Vice President, The American Institute of Architects

Kimberly Dowdell, AIA, NOMAC, is a licensed architect and frequent speaker on the topic of architecture, leadership, diversity, sustainability, and the future of cities. In her 2019-2020 term as national president of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), she worked to increase opportunities for women and people of color to gain more equitable access to the building professions. She also more than doubled the organization’s membership and significantly raised NOMA’s profile.

Kimberly’s career aspirations are rooted in her upbringing in Detroit, where she was initially driven to utilize architecture as a tool to revitalize cities. She earned her Bachelor of Architecture at Cornell University and her Master of Public Administration at Harvard University. Her professional experience has spanned architecture to government and teaching to real estate development. Kimberly is currently the director of strategic relationships and a principal with HOK, a leading global design firm. She co-founded the SEED Network in 2005 and has been a LEED-accredited professional since 2007. In 2022, Kimberly was elected to the Cornell University Board of Trustees. Kimberly’s overarching mission is to improve people’s lives, by design.

Dr. Kwesi Daniels

Dr. Kwesi Daniels
Department Head of Architecture, Tuskegee University

Dr. Kwesi Daniels is the Head of the Architecture Department at Tuskegee University. His professional experience ranges across various disciplines, including historic preservation, architecture, sustainability management, and urban geography. He developed the historic preservation program at Tuskegee University, within the Robert R. Taylor School of Architecture and Construction Science. The goal of the program is to train architecture and construction science management students to handle the nuances of historic properties using technology like laser scanning, photogrammetry, 3D printing, drones, virtual reality and augmented reality. This preservation work has expanded the contemporary resources of Tuskegee University into African-American communities in Selma, Montgomery, Birmingham, and Tuskegee, Ala. He and his students are currently working to preserve the Armstrong School in Macon County, Al, a Tuskegee rural school model building and precursor to the Tuskegee Rosenwald Community School program.

Dr. Daniels earned a BArch and MArch in architecture from Tuskegee University and the University of Illinois at Chicago and an MS in sustainability management from Columbia University. In 2020 he earned a Ph.D. in urban geography from Temple University. His doctoral research focused on the positive and negative social impact universities can have on communities around their campuses, particularly communities of color.

Kyle Bernhardt

Kyle Bernhardt
CRO, TestFit

Kyle has spent his career exploring the intersection of technology and AEC, and how it can transform businesses in AEC. As the CRO of TestFit, Kyle is currently focused on the intersection of automation and site feasibility to help drive change in the built world. Prior to TestFit, Kyle worked in various roles in Product Management and Business Strategy at Autodesk, helping to connect BIM to the cloud, as well as Design & Make in the Autodesk Construction Cloud.

Matt Wheelis

Matt Wheelis
SVP of Strategy, Build & Construct Division, Nemetschek Group

Matt Wheelis leads global strategy for the Build & Construct Division of the Nemetschek Group. His responsibilities include strategy formation, industry advocacy, partnership development, GTM strategy, and M&A roadmapping. A veteran of the construction technology industry, his accomplishments include establishing job cost control in the cloud and advancing multiple SaaS / Cloud, mobile, geospatial and BIM solutions for construction. After studying accounting and civil engineering, he began his career on the construction site and has enjoyed participating in the explosion of construction-related information technology throughout his career. Matt’s areas of focus in the industry with Nemetschek Group include construction management, collaboration, and all things related to the business of contracting. In addition to his professional accomplishments, Matt is passionate about making a positive impact in the community through volunteering and charitable work. In his spare time he enjoys being with his family, hiking, and exploring the outdoors together.

Matthew Goldsberry

Matthew Goldsberry
Principal | Director of D3, HDR

Matt oversees the applied research and implementation of advanced computational design workflows. He is the director of Data-Driven Design and is responsible for developing new computational tools and workflows to facilitate design exploration, automated analysis, and advanced data management. Matt is also a Lecturer at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he teaches courses on advanced geometry and building information modeling.

Nicolas W. Cameron, AIA

Nicolas W. Cameron, AIA
Principal / Digital Practice Director, Perkins and Will

Nick Cameron’s expertise extends beyond traditional architecture, as he also serves as Perkins & Will’s Director of Digital Practice. In this role, he focuses on the integration of technology in the design process, ensuring that the firm's projects are executed with precision and efficiency. Nick's extensive knowledge of digital tools and processes allows him to take a holistic approach to his work, ensuring that the final product meets the needs and goals of the client.

Robert Yuen

Robert Yuen
CEO, Monograph Inc.

Robert Yuen, Assoc. AIA, is the CEO and Co-Founder of Monograph, a software company revolutionizing the future in how architectural projects are managed. Having worked as an architectural designer in his hometown Chicago and ultimately setting his roots down in San Francisco, Yuen discovered his passion for designing software solutions for the AEC industry. A serial entrepreneur, a trained architect, and zealously productive, Robert is an active member and avid public speaker within the architecture, design, and engineering industries.

Shane Burger

Shane Burger
Principal, Global Leader of Technical Innovation, Woods Bagot

I am an internationally recognized leader in the advanced use of technology in design and experience for the built environment. As a Principal at Woods Bagot, I direct the vision centered on technical innovation and lead a global DesignOps team dedicated to researching, developing and applying new models of design and delivery to projects. I have lectured widely on a range of topics including design computation, BIM, digital fabrication, building and spatial performance, analysis and simulation, VR/AR, Smart Buildings, AI, and digital culture and experience.

Starting in the early 2000’s, I was an early advocate and active developer of design computation methodologies in the AEC industry. During this time, my built work at Grimshaw Architects focused on the design of arts and cultural institutions, and used an array of computational processes to synthesize geometry, analysis, and material fabrication. I also served for 8 years as a director of the design computation and education non-profit Smartgeometry, firmly positioning it at the intersections of art, design, technology, and the modern human experience. At Smartgeometry, I promoted the emergence of a new paradigm for digital designers and craftsman where mathematics and algorithms are as natural as pen and paper.

Thesla Collier

Thesla Collier
Studio Design Technology Manager, Gensler

Thesla Collier is a Studio Design Technology Manager at Gensler. She has a Bachelor’s in architecture from the University of Honduras and has worked in the AEC Industry for over 23 years. As a Studio Design Technology Manager, she helps Architects and designers elevate their skills and workflows at the Los Angeles office and SW region . She actively works with users to elevate their knowledge baseline to improve their skills on multiple software platforms. Thesla is seeking new avenues of technology to improve Design workflows possible to conceive, visualize, and adapt to a project’s specific needs.

Vickie Patel

Vibhuti (Vickie Patel) Harris, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C
Firmwide BIM Leader, HKS Inc.

Vickie Harris is the Firmwide BIM Leader and a key member of the Practice Technology team at HKS Architects in Dallas, Texas. With over a decade of architectural experience and a diverse skill set, she is responsible for leading a team that develops, maintains, and administers all BIM protocols and standards. Her role includes providing oversight for BIM implementation at the practice and project levels, working closely with Regional Practice Technology Leaders, and acting as a resource for the firm with BIM software.

Vickie's career path is distinguished by her passion for making a change through architecture and the use of technology. Her focus is on helping the AEC industry reach its potential through technology integration. Based on her years of experience, she has observed a lack of progression and adoption of new technologies due to the absence of change in contractual language. In her view, Architects, Engineers, and Contractors have the potential to transform the way our world is developed and inhabited, and this potential should not be limited by a lack of foresight on the part of previous generations regarding technological advancements.