The Digital Physical: Rethinking Structural Design in the Computational Age

Date: June 13, 2018 5:30pm
Location: Atlantic Wharf, Boston, MA
Speaker(s): Paul Kassabian Juhun Lee Christian Sjoberg

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Atlantic Wharf (in the Fort Point Room) 
290 Congress Street 
Boston, MA 02210

Two blocks from South Station. Parking is available in the parking garage between Sorelle Café & Boloco (282 Congress Street and 284 Congress Street) for a $12 flat rate if you enter after 5:00 p.m.

5:30–6:00 p.m. Registration & Refreshments
6:00–7:00 p.m. Presentation & Discussion
7:00–7:30 p.m. Cocktail Reception

Participants will earn 1.0 AIA CES Learning Unit (LU/HSW) for their attendance. Attendance is free and open to all; please invite colleagues. We will serve refreshments and hors d'oeuvres. Space is limited to the first 100 guests to register.


We are at an exciting time in the design and construction profession. Using computational approaches, we can develop multiple solution options for problems faced by architects, developers, and contractors. We can provide more and better technical information for projects than ever before. However, with that comes a different way of thinking and working together that is still a work in progress. Given the risk-averse nature of the AEC Industry, we must first take small steps of continuous innovation – using small projects or small parts of larger projects – to create improved work processes and deliverables. In this seminar, we will show this innovation through case studies from actual projects involving structural framing options, new loads for repurposed existing structures, structured facades, concrete formwork layout, and pile layout optimization. 

After attending this seminar, participants will be able to: 

  • Understand how computational approaches can develop new solutions that improve our built environment through innovative structural design.
  • Identify challenges that come from adapting new technology to maximize these approaches while avoiding safety issues from first-time users.
  • Recognize initial steps where computational tools can be incorporated to improve aspects of structural design, including materials selection, and construction processes. 
  • Discuss real-world examples of computational design.


Paul E. Kassabian, P.E., P.Eng, C.Eng | Associate Principal 
Paul Kassabian specializes in the structural design of buildings, bridges, and sculptures. He develops innovative methods of design and construction using SGH’s in-house materials lab, computational design approaches, and digital fabrication techniques. He is the practice leader of the SGH Digital Lab.


Juhun Lee | Computational Designer
Christian H. Sjoberg | Computational Designer
Juhun Lee and Christian Sjoberg are senior members of the SGH Digital Lab. With architectural and computational backgrounds, Juhun and Christian develop work in areas of task automation, advanced online deliverables, and machine learning for all aspects of SGH’s business, including design, repair, and investigation of structures and enclosures.


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