Evolution: What is Our Purpose?

From Architectural Record’s 2018 Innovation Conference
Presented by Michael Green, Principal, Michael Green Architecture

Learning Objectives:

  1. Explain what issues are arising in the world and how architecture can help solve them.
  2. Identify the parts of the architectural process that are changing and how technological solutions can make them better.


0.5 AIA LU/Elective



Michael Green, Principal, Michael Green Architecture
Michael Green is an architect known for his research, leadership, and advocacy in promoting the use of wood in the built environment. He lectures internationally on the subject, including his 2013 TED talk on “Why We Should Build Wooden Skyscrapers,” which has been viewed over a million times. Michael founded his architecture firm, MGA, and his not for profit school, DBR | Design Build Research, to focus on progressive architecture, research, education, and innovation. Based in Vancouver, BC, Michael and his team strive to contribute to meaningful and sustainable change in building through innovation in construction sciences and design. Michael has been honoured with North America’s most prestigious awards, including 2 RAIC Innovation Awards and 3 Governor General’s Medals (the highest awards for a Canadian architect), along with numerous North American Wood Design Awards and International Interior Design Awards. In 2014, Michael received an honourary doctorate degree from the University of Northern British Columbia.

The building industry is the last major sector to experience technological transformation and the arguably one of the last to see a major disruption. This evolution and disruption will increase design’s value to society and help reclaim architects’ role as advocates for the future. MGA and Katerra are working to merge design and construction into a vertically integrated platform that will respond to pressing problems, including climate and environmental impact and affordability. Why we need to change is as important as how.


Originally published in March 2019