Theater Talk
Theater Talk
Theater Talk

Architecture in the Age of More, Better, Faster

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Architecture in the Age of More, Better, Faster

Rapid urbanization requires that we reimagine how we design and build


The global population is growing—and rapidly becoming more urban. By 2050, two-thirds of all people on the planet will live in urban areas. To meet this demand, we need to rethink our processes for both design and construction. Nicholas Desbiens believes computation has the power not just to help us build new things, but to think new thoughts as well. He shares two examples of projects his firm recently completed that used a generative massing strategy to create thousands of possible building shapes, balancing competing project goals like solar exposure, floor area, and energy use. And intuitive dashboards and interfaces made it easier to communicate with stakeholders, expediting the public approval process, reducing costs, and shaving months off the construction process. Ultimately, these technologies can help us create cities that reflect the best of what makes us human.

About the speaker

Nicholas Desbiens is the head of Digital Practice at KPF, where he provides strategic direction in the adoption and implementation of new technologies throughout the firm. He has a background both as an architect and as a computational designer, furthering KPF’s interdisciplinary approach. He is currently the co-chair for the Future of Practice Committee for AIA New York. He holds degrees from the University of Minnesota and the University of Pennsylvania.

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