2020-01-23&24 Lean Design Forum 2020

Lean Design Forum 2020

UC Berkeley’s Project Production Systems Laboratory (P2SL) and the Lean Construction Institute (LCI) have been co-hosting the Lean Design Forum for many years now. The Forum meets twice a year, in Berkeley early in the year, and in the Midwest mid-year. The 2020 Lean Design Forum spans 2 days, including 6 presentations and a workshop.

As in previous years, we will submit our application with AIA so that participants can earn continuing education units (CEUs).

Click here to see speaker biographies.

To sponsor this event, please contact p2sl@berkeley.edu.

Day 1 Presentations – Thursday 23 January 2020

7:30 am Registration and Breakfast

8:00 am Start up

8:15 am Negar Kalantar and Al Borhani, California College of the Arts (CCA): What will Designers do Twenty Years from Now? Shifting from Creating to Curating

Over the last decade, the role of designers has been evolved at the speed of numerous breakthrough technological innovations and disruptions. The convergences around analytical algorithms, scripting, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and robotics not only transform the designer’s role but permeate the design processes of built products at a furious pace. As the enormous array of digital tools and methodologies has become an integral part of various design-driven practices, the emerging role of the designer makes it imperative to start thinking about the future of design.

In the world of design, there is a natural tension between intuition and rationality. In the recent years, the ability to capture and deploy big data makes a gradual shift from relying entirely on insight (perception-based concepts) to reason (data-rich results). Through a wave of rationality that describes the constraints and goals of a design project, AI-powered parametric platforms enable everybody to generate hundreds of variations of a design and then pick the favorite one. Here, the question is how the designer can employ this new rational context to leverage her position, not just a curator but as a creator. In this presentation, after describing how the design field is going to mutate, we will contextualize the design’s role in the future.

10:00 am Break

10:30 am PANEL: Ron Migliori (Buehler&Buehler), Mike Williams (HMC), and Joe Garcia (SR Construction): Lean in Design-Build Environment

Incorporating Lean principles and tools in a Design-Build procurement process enhances the opportunity for overall project and team success. Lean creates an integrated environment where creativity and innovation can flourish by driving value into a project, increasing productivity, reducing schedules and costs, and increasing quality and jobsite safety. We have a great opportunity to impact and transform the AEC industry on how projects are delivered.

This presentation will present current Lean practices that fit well into a design-build environment. It will include a discussion on the Lean processes themselves and why they should be utilized. We will discuss why behaviors are still one of the most important attributes for delivering a successful project and how Lean processes can drive good behavior. Also included will be a discussion of the emerging “Progressive Design-Build” procurement methodology that is ideal for Lean processes. We will also review other trends, including what design-builders are looking for in building their Lean teams.

12 noon Lunch

1:00 pm Santiago Diaz (Katerra): Trends in Computational Design

Computational design, the application of computational solutions and approaches to design problems, is continuously changing. As digital technology relentlessly develops, it paves new avenues for designers to explore, driven by the growing demands of project requirements.

Companies such as Katerra use a “productization” approach to deliver buildings, which opens yet more avenues for design process innovation. Computational solutions and approaches are in turn often rooted in lean thinking, which then influences the design process. In Trends in computational design, we will discuss various of these avenues of innovation in computational design, and speculate on what lies ahead.

2:30 pm Break

3:00 pm David Grau (Arizona State University): Validation in IPD Projects, a Lean Construction Institute Research Report

This interactive session will help the audience learn about the recently documented practice of project validation. Project validation aims at proving or disproving with limited or no design whether the project team can deliver a project that satisfies the owner’s business case and scope within the owner’s allowable constraints of cost and schedule and with an acceptable level of risk. It sets the commitment of the team towards achieving project goals and accepting the shared risks of failing to do so. The session will cover project validation concepts, the validation process and its sequence of steps, and the timing of implementation. Lessons learned and resources will be shared. Barriers and benefits will be discussed. Successful and unsuccessful case studies will complement the discussion. At the end of the session, attendees will be equipped with the knowledge to decide whether they should and want to pursue validation, and, if so, plan a successful implementation of project validation effectively.

4:30 pm Plus/Delta

4:40 pm Adjourn

Day 2 Presentations and Workshop – Friday 24 January 2020

7:30 am Breakfast

8:00 am Start up

8:15 am Glenn Ballard (P2SL): Improvements in the Last Planner(R) System

The presentation will share the results of a 3 year effort to further improve the Last Planner System (LPS), with a focus on:

  • Extending LPS to planning the entire project, as opposed to starting with project phases
  • Providing guidance for applying LPS in design
  • Specifying location based work structures. Previously no work structure recommendation was provided.
  • Adding metrics needed to manage the entire project
  • Specifying in much more detail what is needed in order to learn from breakdowns, including specific roles and responsibilities and reservation of capacity.

Reports on each of these topics will be published in the Lean Construction Journal and these recommendations will be incorporated in a new Current Process Benchmark for the Last Planner System.

10:00 am Break

10:30 am Paz Arroyo (DPR), Glenn Ballard (P2SL) and Stan Chiu (HGA): Rethinking Set Based Design — the Role of Trade-off Curves and CBA in Aligning Design Criteria

Are we, in design of our projects, doing set based design in the right way? The presentation will propose a NO answer to that question. What’s missing is aligning design criteria prior to trying to produce a design. An example from Lean Product Development, where set based design originated: in designing an automobile, noise level and fuel efficiency are typically design criteria. As the noise level target is reduced (to produce less noise), backpressure on the engine increases, which increases fuel consumption. Given existing engineering solutions and technologies, not all combinations of noise level and fuel efficiency targets can be satisfied. There are two alternatives for handling such misalignments: 1) Relax one or both design criteria targets, or 2) Invent your way out of the problem; e.g., by redesigning the engine to tighter tolerances to reduce the vibration that is the source of vehicle generated noise.

Currently, it appears that we do not keep the data needed to identify misalignments prior to starting design; the result of which is increased frequency and extent of rework in design and sometimes also in construction. The presentation will include input from a Set Based Design Study Group, of which the three speakers are members, which is exploring what we can do to identify and align design criteria.  

12:10 pm Planning next year’s P2SL-LCI Lean Design Forum

12:15 pm Box Lunches

1:30 pm Christian Thuesen (Technical University of Denmark): Transforming Design: Disruptive technologies in Lean Design

New technologies have the potential to increase effectiveness and productivity of the construction sector, and improve performance of the built environment. However, these technologies may also create disruptive changes to the current work processes, products, services, contracts and organisational structures. Established construction organisations therefore need a tool for gauging how new technologies may affect the future of their sector.

In this workshop we explore how new technologies can shape the future of lean design and construction based on 22 technology cards. The workshop is inspired by the Top Trumps card games from the 1980’s and is structured in three game sessions.

1.       Which technologies do we find most important?
We identify the most important technologies based on the Choosing By Advantage framework.

2.       Which technologies go together?
We explore how different technologies are related to identify synergies and incompatibility. 

3.       What does the future look like? What should we do to get there?
We consider the steps necessary to reach a shared vision for “Lean Design in 2030,” adding to the technology cards in a shared road map.

The session targets everyone interested in how new technologies will transform the products, processes, and organisationd of the construction industry.

4:30 pm Adjourn


The Lean Design Forum will meet in the Garden Room, Building 10 at UC Berkeley’s Clark Kerr Campus.

The address for the Clark Kerr Campus is:
2601 Warring Street
Berkeley, CA 94720