Lean Design Forum 2021 Agenda


UC Berkeley’s Project Production Systems Laboratory (P2SL) launched the Lean Design Forum in 2015.
The Forum meets twice a year, early in the year in Berkeley hosted by P2SL, and mid-year in the midwest hosted by the Lean Construction Institute (LCI).

This year's 2021 Lean Design Forum will be an all-virtual event that spans 2 days.
To accommodate participants not on West Coast time, our Forum will start at 8 AM and end around 2:30 PM Pacific Time each day.

Each session is scheduled with about 40 minutes of presentation time and about the same amount of time to capture take-aways and questions. Please join us in sharing and discussing ideas on how to move our industy forward.


2 LU Credits earned on completion of this course (3 sessions on Thursday) plus 2 LU Credits earned on completion of this course (3 sessions on Friday) will be reported to AIA CES for AIA members. Certificates of Completion for both AIA members and non-AIA members are available upon request. This course is registered with AIA CES for continuing professional education. As such, it does not include content that may be deemed or construed to be an approval or endorsement by the AIA of any material of construction or any method or manner of handling, using, distributing, or dealing in any material or product.
NOTE – Zoom is recording session attendance and that information will serve as a substitute for a sign-in sheet.


AGC of America recognizes P2SL-LCI's Lean Design Forum as qualifying for continuing education hours towards the renewal of AGC’s Certificate of Management-Lean Construction (CM-Lean). Each hour of educational content is equal to 1 hour of CE credit. Attendees may earn up to 8.0 hours of CE credit by attending the entire Forum, February 25-26. Below is a breakdown of the CE hours for each learning day: • February 25, 2021: Learning sessions from 8:15 AM – 2:45 PM (less meals and breaks) = up to 4.0 CM-Lean CE hours, • February 26, 2021: Learning sessions from 8:15 AM – 2:45 PM (less meals and breaks) = up to 4.0 CM-Lean CE hours.
NOTE – Zoom is recording session attendance and that information will serve as a substitute for a sign-in sheet.



To sponsor this event, please contact

Agenda Day 1 – Thursday 25 February 2021

8:00 am – Start up

8:15 am – Jenny Hastings and Meredith Banasiak, both with Boulder Associates
Evidence-based design (BD) and knowledge streams to better inform design of healthcare environments

Evidence-based design (EBD) practices have been prevalent in healthcare design for many years. Techniques of collecting evidence to inform design process have included static observations, focus groups, surveys of patients, companions and staff, and pre/post-occupancy assessments. Through advances in technology, new mechanisms for data collection have evolved that allow for an important intersection of knowledge streams to better inform design of healthcare environments. Boulder Associates will share some recent case study projects showcasing some of these techniques and share some thoughts on how these techniques will continue to advance the evidence-based design process.

Learning Objectives:

  • Attendees will hear about current and past techniques for evidence-collection in the design process.
  • Attendees will learn about new advances in collecting evidence to inform design.
  • Through case studies shared, attendees will hear how the design team has integrated lean thinking into the evidence-based design process.
  • Attendees will understand how various evidence-collecting techniques can be overlayed onto one another to better inform a design team in the EBD process.

10:00 am – John Cutler, Amplitude
Leading the Process of Digital Product Design and Development

Digital product design and development is a fascinating case study in cross-functional collaboration, rapid experimentation, and collective sensemaking. In this setting, it could be argued that nothing is in fact “built,” and that digital teams engage in what might be more accurately called “continuous design” or “continuous learning.” Customers rent access to a stream of innovation. Although production metaphors persist — think the left-to-right kanban board with “done” in the rightmost column — teams are constantly reintegrating what they learn into the service offering. It is a marked shift: from project, to product, to service ecologies / value network.

What can we learn from how these teams operate (keeping in mind the constraints of construction)? How are these teams organized? How do they manage professional culture clash? How do they visualize their work? How do they run experiments? How do they use healthy forcing functions to catalyze learning?

Learning Objectives:

  • How digital product teams are commonly structured
  • Methods for gathering feedback, and designing experiments
  • How teams balance long term vision and time-based goals using the North Star Framework
  • Describe the key roles of product manager and product designer
  • Visualizing digital product development work
  • How digital teams use healthy forcing functions to integrate understanding and risk

12:30 pm – Hal Macomber, Touchplan, and Stan Chiu, Gensler – Panel Moderators

Designing at the Intersection of Human-Centered Design and Evidence-Based Design

Evidence acquired through research is driving advancements in the design of healthcare environments. Similarly, product development, particularly in the digital space, is attentive to the design of the user experience. In many parts of the built environment, tacit knowledge is the basis for design. The industry is reconsidering the design of existing space in this post-COVID world. This panel will explore opportunities how a human-centered evidence-based approach to design can help. This session will include presentations by panelists from Gensler, SmithGroup, and Steelcase. Learning Objectives:

  • Attendees will understand the prevailing definitions and practices of evidence-based design (EBD)
  • Attendees will understand the prevailing definitions and practices of human-centered design (HCD)
  • Through a panel conversation attendees will learn about the opportunities for the two disciplines to learn from each other
  • Attendees will learn about the pressing needs for redesigning existing space in the post-Covid world based on EBD and HCD

2:30 pm – Plus-Delta and Wrap-up of the Day

Agenda Day 2 – Friday 26 February 2021

Prof. Christian THUESEN
Ron Migliori

8:00 am – Start up

8:15 am – Christian Thuesen, Technical University of Denmark (DTU) : Designing for a Circular Economy

The construction sector is key in building our modern societies. Today, increasing population and urbanization create global demand for construction, but in absolute measures current construction practices are unsustainable as they contribute to exceedance of absolute environmental boundaries and resource supply horizons. Thus, they cannot be considered blueprints for the rise of the developing world.

To improve the sustainable impact of construction we must transform the practices of our industry towards a circular economy targeting societal prioritized needs and associated challenges:

  • Climate need: Reduce the GHG emissions to the lowest possible.
  • Resource need: Material scarcity and waste handling for reuse
  • Value need: Limited value delivery
  • Social need: Rising demands by professional customers and communities

Circular construction practices seek to address these challenges through improved resource efficiency fostered by increasing circularity in processes and materials within the AEC industry.

This session presents the current “state of play” on transforming the Danish AEC industry towards circularity and contrast it to development at the European level and the US. The session will include an overview of the substantial development agenda on circular construction currently counting more than 20 industrial research and innovation projects identifying core challenges and solutions.  

Learning Objectives:

After participanting in this session you will be able to 

  • Understand the basic principle and core challenges in circular economy
  • Connect solutions to core challenges
  • Identify implications of circular economy for different company types in the AEC industry
  • Evaluate the relevance of circular economy to the AEC industry in different countries

10:00 am – Ron Migliori, Buehler, Larry Summerfield, Buehler, and Justin Wise, Stantec
Last Planner System® in Design

The Last Planner System® (LPS®) in design has been evolving but still has its struggles. Is there a methodology that can cure some of the issues that seem to recur?

We will take a deeper dive into each step of the LPS for design. We will provide specific examples of successful techniques for each phase and lessons learned for areas of improvement. Highlighted will be those techniques designed to recognize the unique way in which design activities add value to a project through project planning.

The process begins with the master planning phase and the creation of a delivery strategy that captures the flow of work. Techniques will be discussed on how to assemble a milestone plan. This phase is often neglected but is critical for the efficiency and reliability of the more detailed planning phases.

The most popular step of the LPS when used in early planning is the phase pull plan. The lack of preparation for this event can lead to missed planning constraints and handoffs. Project pull plans where the team has done their “homework” for each milestone can dramatically increase the reliability of the plan by understanding the flow of the design work. Techniques will be discussed for conducting a phase pull plan for both a larger “project team” approach as well as utilizing smaller groups in a “cluster team” approach. This conversation will extend into executing and managing the plan throughout design by releasing design-specific work, recognizing unexpected constraints, and the need for weekly re-planning.

In this COVID environment, virtual pull planning has been a necessity and we will explore different alternatives available for teams. We will also look at the impact that the latest iteration of LPS, LPS 2.0, has on design planning, including recognition of the unique way that the design phases deliver value and how they can be effectively planned with the LPS.

12:30 pm – Santiago DiazPreparing to Deliver my Digital Twin

The realization during construction for the need of a digital twin after construction is completed, marked the beginning of a learning journey. Santiago will share his experiences as he prepares to develop a digital twin of a single family home that is currently under construction. In this case study, he will also discuss the significance of building performance simulation in lean design.

Learning objectives:

  1. To understand what a digital twin is.
  2. To understand the importance of digital twins in lean design.
  3. To learn about the anticipated benefits of simulating the usage of buildings.
  4. To learn about the preparation process during construction, for the delivery of a digital twin after construction, via a current case study.

2:30 pm – Brainstorming 2022 Forum, Plus-Delta, and Wrap-up