Calendar of Events

Sat 10.13.2012

Bits & Mortar: Architecture in the Age of Digital Communication

Approved for a total of AIA CES 8.5 LUs | 8.5 HSW over the course of the symposium

When: 8:30 AM - 6:30 PM SATURDAY, ARCHTOBER 13

Where: At The Center   

Bits and Mortar: Architecture in the Age of Digital Communication is a Saturday symposium – with a Sunday evening keynote by Frank Gehry - that will discuss how architecture enabled by digital technology can drive cultural change beyond its traditional boundaries.

AGENDA – Saturday, October 13, 2012
8:30am - 9:15 am Breakfast, Greetings and Introductions
Remarks - Rick Bell, FAIA,  AIANY Executive Director
Remarks - Joseph J Aliotta, AIA, LEED AP,  AIANY President 2012
Remarks - David Piscuskas, FAIA, 1100 Architect
Overview - Paul Seletsky, AIA, AIANY Technology Committee Co-Chair

9:15am - 10:45am Morning Session – Energy, Education & Healthcare
Presenter - David Bartlett, VP IBM Smarter Buildings
Presenter - James Ramsey, The Low Line Project
Presenter - Zigmund Rubel, AIA, Aditazz
Moderator - Matthew Bremer, AIA, Architecture Information

10:45am - 11:00am Beverage Break

11:00am - 12:30pm Mid-Morning Session – Interactive Media, Materials, & Gaming
Presenter -  Richard Pasqua, Token Inc.
Presenter - Dr. Amy Ford, Deme Group
Presenter - Russell Lowe, University of New South Wales
Moderator - Jill Fehrenbacher, Inhabitat

12:30pm - 1:15pm Lunch Session (Leica / Theometrics Presentation)
Presenter - David Rutledge, Leica Geosystems
Presenter - Sam Stathis, Theometrics

1:15pm – 2:45pm Afternoon Session – Robotics, Prosthetics & Research
Presenter -  Robyn Beavers, Dean Kamen Research & Development
Presenter - Scott Summit, Summit ID / 3D Systems
Presenter - Mark Yim, University of Pennsylvania Robotics
Moderator - Erleen Hatfield, AIA, PE, LEED AP, Buro Happold

2:45pm - 3:00pm Beverage Break

3:00pm – 4:00pm Mid-Afternoon Session – Quantifying the Future (A Conversation)
Speaker - Esther Dyson, EDventures
Moderator - Paul Seletsky, AIA  ArcSphere

4:00pm – 5:00pm Keynote Session – Calibrating Research & Practice
Keynote -  Nicholas Negroponte, Founder – MIT Media Lab, OLPC

5:00pm – 5:30pm Year-One Project / Closing Remarks

5:30pm – 6:30pm Reception

10:00am – 5:00pm Fab Expo

Please follow this link for more information on Sunday evening's programming featuring, Frank Gehry, FAIA, Nicholas Negroponte, and Julie Iovine


Member Reserved Conference Seat $175
Non-Member Reserved Conference Seat $225

These tickets are for both Saturday and Sunday.
Reserved Conference seat tickets are for a single assigned seat in Tafel Hall for both Saturday and Sunday and are transferrable (more information on sharing is available on registration)

Member Saturday Morning Seat $60
Non-Member Saturday Morning Seat $80

Breakfast and Lunch Included

Member Saturday Afternoon Seat $60
Non-Member Saturday Afternoon Seat $80

Featuring Esther Dyson and Nicholas Negroponte


Member Sunday Evening Seat $60
Non-MemberSunday Evening Seat $80

Featuring Frank Gehry and Nicholas Negroponte

Seats to individual sessions are first come first served and non-transferrable.

Member Standing Room $25
Non-Member Standing Room $50

Standing room tickets are for a standing room spot in our upstairs gallery to watch a live stream projection of the conference.
These tickets are only offered for the entire conference.
There will be no refunds available for this event.
Livestreaming of any of the panels can be purchased on our Webinars Page

Speaker Profiles – Morning Session

David Bartlett
leads IBM's smarter building initiative and is known as the "building whisperer" because he views buildings as living organisms, an approach he believes can help identify problems and suggest cost-effective ways for making buildings healthier and more energy-efficient. Bartlett, who studied biology, eventually sees buildings forming part of a wider ecosystem that brings nature into cities, making them more literally "green."

James Ramsey is a former NASA engineer and current principal of New York-based RAAD. Following the economic downturn in 2008, he discovered an underground trolley station on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, derelict since 1948, and conceived of transforming it into an underground park full of plants, pathways and sunlight – all brought down below grade using fiber-optic technology. Most interestingly, he and partner Dan Barasch sought funding for their project, now dubbed “The Low Line,” via a new online venture funding website called Kickstarter. Five days following their launch, Ramsey and Barasch raised more than half their targeted goal of $100,000 (exceeded on the eighth day to $155,000), enabling them to generate an official proposal for the park and a continuing level of public interest and excitement.

Zigmund Rubel, AIA, is a licensed architect advocating Integrated Project Delivery in healthy, healing and sustainable environments. He is a founder of Aditazz, a technology startup in Northern California whose mission is to revolutionize current methods of designing, constructing and operating healthcare facilities by leveraging proven design and manufacturing techniques from other industries. Aditazz also aims to automate repetitive tasks in building design flow and enable the use of advanced manufacturing techniques in the construction process. Their key goal is to provide faster realization of health care facilities with improved construction quality and reduced operational costs.

Speaker Profiles – Mid-Morning Session

Richard Pasqua is an accomplished digital creative director, brand designer and strategist with 14 years of professional expertise in visual and customer experience, and interactive marketing strategy. He has developed digital brands for some of the most iconic names in business across multiple vertical markets - building, leading and mentoring interdisciplinary creative design and development teams across the globe. A former Digital Creative Director at Siegel+Gale (Omnicom) in New York, Pasqua was recruited to design and build out the agency’s interactive division from scratch. As Founder and CEO of Token Inc., he’s now helping astute clients rethink and reshape their whole approach to being digital.

Dr. Amy Ford is a licensed dentist based with the deme group in Philadelphia, PA. She utilizes an advanced diagnostic system called CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics), a powerful computer-aided digital technology used to design and manufacture tooth-colored restorations including crowns, inlays, onlays and veneers. This 3D technology has revolutionized the world of dentistry allowing dentists to design and mill precisely accurate restorations in a single appointment versus weeks. Dr. Ford and the deme group have incorporated this technology into their practice, allowing them to create aesthetic and functional restorations in a highly efficient and effective manner.

Russell Lowe is a 3D artist and Senior Lecturer at the University of New South Wales University in Sydney, Australia, where he teaches first year of the Architectural Studies program and final year of the Masters of Architecture program, both within the Faculty of the Built Environment. Lowe uses systems and technologies from a wide range of industries including biotechnology, information & communication technologies, and computer gaming to engage with ideas around ‘(re)presentation.’ Lowe is currently working on a major Australian Research Council funded project, re-purposing computer gaming technology to enhance public safety.

Jill Fehrenbacher (Moderator) is a LEED-AP green designer and consultant and the founder of - the internet's most widely-read website dedicated to innovation in green design and clean technology. She created Inhabitat in 2005 as a way to catalog her search for new and innovative ways to improve the world via forward-thinking, technology-driven and environmentally-conscious design. In addition to running and editing Inhabitat, Jill consults and speaks widely on design innovation and has been cited in a variety of leading publications, including Wired, The New York Times, Metropolis Magazine and the Wall Street Journal. She received a B.A. in Art Semiotics from Brown University.

Speaker Profiles – Lunch Session

David Rutledge is the Director for Infrastructure Monitoring at Leica Geosystems in the Americas. He has been involved in the GPS industry since 1995, and has overseen the installation of numerous GPS networks around the world. He is the author of numerous papers on real‐time GPS monitoring and GPS accuracy. He received his B.Sc. in Structural Geology from San Francisco State University in 1993.

Sam Stathis is an entrepreneur, investor, developer, engineer, inventor and philanthropist with extensive experience in starting and operating multimillion dollar companies on a domestic and international basis. His endeavors have stemmed from a passionate desire to advance and invigorate complacent industries through the application of technology, and he has garnered respect throughout the business world for his accomplishments in resourceful business solutions and motivational leadership.

Speaker Profiles – Afternoon Session

Robyn Beavers is Director of Water and Power Commercialization at DEKA Research & Development. She is responsible for the Slingshot water purification and Stirling power generation technologies, both created and financed by well-known inventor Dean Kamen - internationally renowned for his bi-wheeled Segway transport. Ms. Beavers serves as DEKA’s strategist for business development of new business ventures, corporate licenses and technology contracts specifically geared toward distributed water and power generation market sectors. She holds both a BS in Civil Engineering and MBA from Stanford University and prior to DEKA founded and led the first green strategy group within Google. She is a LEED Accredited Professional and is also featured as one of the MAKERs on the, a groundbreaking video platform created PBS & AOL to showcase hundreds of compelling stories of women from today and tomorrow.

Scott Summit is the Founder and Chief Technology Officer for Bespoke Innovations (founded in 2010 and recently acquired by 3D Systems). Summit’s twenty years of experience in the research of design utilizing ‘additive fabrication’ have led to clients such as Apple, Nike, Palm, and many others. His designs range from one-off ideas to mass-produced products, including sporting equipment, medical devices and audio products, which have earned international awards and recognition from IDSA, IDEA, Good Design, and Core77. Summit holds over 20 design and utility patents; has held faculty positions at Stanford, Carnegie Mellon and San Jose State universities; and has spoken at TEDx (Cambridge), the Vanguard Lecture Series, and Stanford’s Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders series. He currently writes for Time Compression Magazine on design enabled by additive fabrication and its related technologies.

Mark Yim is Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics (MEAM) at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. His research interests began with modular robots made up of identical active components, which could then be arranged to form different configurations ranging from snake robots to humanoids to 17-legged centipedes. His systems now self-reconfigure, changing their shape to suit the task at hand. In addition to self-reconfiguring and self-assembling robots, Mark has also started work on flying robots and on ‘task specification’ - requesting a task so that a robotic configuration can optimally satisfy that specific task. In 2009, Mark was awarded the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. He holds a BS in Engineering Mechanics from Johns Hopkins, and both an MS and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford.

Speaker Profile – Mid-Afternoon Session

Esther Dyson is a former Forbes journalist and Wall Street technology analyst with a graduate degree in Economics from Harvard. She is now a leading entrepreneur, angel investor, commentator and philanthropist focused on breakthrough innovations in healthcare, government transparency, digital technology, biotechnology, and space exploration. In 1983, she bought one of her former investment house employers and renamed her new company EDventure Holdings, selling it to CNET Networks in 2004. She is the founder of PC Forum and, from 1998 to 2000, was the founding chairman of ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. Ms. Dyson is currently focusing her career on preemptive healthcare and continues to invest in health technology. She is also a frequent writer and contributor on technology for the Huffington Post.

Speaker Profile – Keynote Session

Nicholas Negroponte is an American architect best known as co-founder and Chairman Emeritus of MIT’s Media Lab and the One Laptop per Child Association (OLPC). He studied at MIT in both the undergraduate and graduate Architecture programs, focusing his research on issues of computer-aided design (CAD). He earned a Master's degree in architecture from MIT in 1966 and for several years thereafter, divided his teaching time between MIT, Yale, Michigan and UC Berkeley. In 1967, he founded MIT's Architecture Machine Group, a combination lab and think tank, which studied new approaches to human-computer interaction. In 1985, Negroponte co-created the MIT Media Lab with Jerome B. Wiesner, where, as director, he developed the lab into the pre-eminent computer science laboratory for new media and investigations into human-computer interaction.

Special thanks to the sponsors of Bits + Mortar



Array Health Systems
Bentley Systems
Point B Design
Robert Silman Associates
VIP Networks

Media Sponsor:

List as of 9/27/2012

A program of Archtober, Architecture and Design Month New York City, October 2012.


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