RECAP | Facade Tectonics Forum: MIAMI


The Facade Tectonics Institute (FTI) kicked off its 2019 Regional Forum Series, Material Matters, at the University of Miami Perez School of Architecture. The overarching theme of the event was to bring thought leaders together to explore the amplified threats of climate change in the unique urban context that is Miami, Florida. FTI recognized the opportunity to highlight that although there have been vast developments in innovation of the building skin, navigating the implementation of a contemporary facade system remains the single most challenging component of building design and construction.

The full-day Forum featured four expert-led panel discussions on topics ranging from building resilience attributes to the threat of climate change, carbon-neutral designs, and facade systems consideration for hot and humid climates. Panelists such as Angel Suarez of Perkins + Will explored specific, technical research such as resiliency and regenerative concepts relating to facades and future climates while Kevin Greiner of UrbanCentric Analytics discussed building design and techniques through the Urban Planner and Economist perspective. Other elements of the day’s discussion explored how escalating code requirements, increased complexity in facade systems, novel delivery strategies and convoluted supply chains paired with morphing environmental risks present great challenges for the design and construction industries.

In addition to panelists’ presentations, two special discussions were led by Philip Stoddard, Mayor of South Miami and Dean Rodolphe el-Khoury, University of Miami School of Architecture. The event was attended by the FTI Board of Directors, FTI members, students, and leading professionals in the A/E/C/O industry.

This event marked several milestones for FTI. Not only was as it was our first time in Miami, but the first year the organization decided to partner with local Universities to host our regional Forum series, Miami being the inaugural event. The audience remained engaged throughout the event, posing thought-provoking dialogue during the panel Q&A’s, and at times controlled the discussion through their eager desire to hear a panelist’s response to their questions and concerns.

“It was just great to bring our Forum to Miami for the first time,” said Valerie Block of Kuraray and Secretary of the Facade Tectonics Institute. “We addressed head on the challenging issues of resilience and climate change posing an existential threat to Miami. The dialogue was both hopeful and invigorating.”

Still want more? Take a look at our gallery for exclusive photos of our speakers, sponsors, and event space.

We'd like to extend a special thanks to our sponsors who made this event possible: Kuraray, Schüco, and Sika.