Speaker Spotlight w RATIO Design

Talk about commitment! RATIO has 4 speakers presenting three different sessions at this year’s BILT NA in Toronto. Founded in 1982, RATIO is an international, multidisciplinary design practice offering services in architecture, preservation, interior design, landscape architecture, urban design + planning, and graphic design.

Here’s the RATIO team presenting at BILTna 2017!


Heather Worrell | Associate/BIM Specialist at RATIO
Session: “Integrated FFE Specifications in Revit: We’re all in this together” and “Our house is a very, very fine house: Keeping training in-house”
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/heather-worrell-7a46b3ba/

I am a registered architect and head up our small group (there are three of us) of BIM Specialists at RATIO. We divide and conquer training, troubleshooting, project oversight, development of standards, and R&D. We also spend a good amount of time consoling each other when working with point clouds, when we find grids in projects that are off by 1/64”, when we find projects with too many worksets, and of course when we hear the phrase “BIM Model”.

I’m part of the firm’s Quality Assurance and Control team and I make recommendations on how we can continue to become more efficient in our drawing standards by using Revit more effectively. I have the privilege of telling people what they are doing wrong and how to fix it. I also spend half my time on billable project work. Much of my focus at RATIO has been in hospitality and multi-family housing.

Outside of work, I am a yoga instructor and working towards becoming a certified Iyengar yoga teacher. This testing has proven to be harder than becoming an architect. I love to bike, Crossfit, and hike when I can. I also enjoy reading – sci-fi in particular, sci-fi that talks to future tech, even better. I do a fair amount of travel overseas, which feeds my soul.

I love to figure things out, love to problem solve, and love to make more efficient processes. I enjoy taking a design that has been started by another designer and working through the details so it can be constructed. I like to figure out new ways of working with yoga students. If they can’t do a certain pose, I teach them how to use props (chairs, walls, blocks) so they can begin to feel the pose. I like to analyze work flows and determine if there is a new way to work, instead of doing things like they’ve always been done.

It’s fascinating to understand the diverse ways that people learn, and I enjoy honing my teaching and training to fit these different learning styles.

I am presenting two topics this year. My first session is “Integrated FFE Specifications in Revit: We’re all in this together.” This session follows our development of moving from a process flow that utilized many different software packages to a process that uses just one: Revit. I will co-present with the Interior Designer that helped me develop the process and has now further advanced it, successfully delivering many projects utilizing this more efficient work flow. More broadly, this session speaks to rethinking how we all work currently.

I will also co-present the session “Our house is a very, very fine house: Keeping training in-house”. In this session attendees will learn about the big sigh of relief that was heard around the world when RATIO hired two BIM Specialists in one year and I had a team to further develop and train our staff (read more about it in Sarah’s write-up!)

I love the depth of knowledge that is presented by the outstanding speakers at BILT. It pinpoints our industry and I really feel like I have information of substance to bring back to my firm. Plus the food is great (even for a vegan, gluten-free gal like me), and the people are fun.

Dana McNutt | Associate/Interior Designer at RATIO
Session: “Integrated FFE Specifications in Revit: We’re all in this together.”
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dana-mcnutt-rid-179bba9b/

I am an Associate in the interior design department of our architectural firm. I am responsible for all things furniture related, from working with our project teams to orchestrating the overall design vision within all aspects of the interior details, to assisting clients with the selections and bidding of the furniture. This includes creating documents that facilitate these tasks.

What do I love? Travel has a major influence in the design world. It is a fairly typical answer, but I love to travel. Experiences outside of the workplace will shape a designer’s thought process and help tell our stories!

I am motivated by new learning opportunities. As an interior designer, I am exposed to others’ experiences on every project I touch. I am always excited to learn about what my clients in higher education are researching, or to learn about the complex professions that are needed for a professional sports team. Each project has new experiences to explore and layer into our design so it is not only beautiful, but highly functional as well.

My session is, “Integrated FFE Specifications in Revit: We’re all in this together.” This topic is important because it supports a well-rounded approach to design. Often the smaller details as to how an architectural firm executes a whole project get overlooked due to the time it takes to solve the problem against tight project schedules. Having one program that can support all the parts of the project in different ways is a game changer. What may have taken four or more software programs to complete in the past, may be able to be streamlined using a single Revit model. It is evolving and we are trying to find creative solutions to support multiple parts of the single project, which will lead to greater efficiencies as well as much cleaner coordination.

I have not attended BILT yet, but I am very much looking forward to experiencing and learning more about what it takes from the software design side to keep an architectural firm progressing.

Sarah Causey | BIM Specialist at RATIO
Session: “Our house is a very, very fine house: Keeping training in-house.”
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarahelizabethmiller/

I am an Autodesk Certified Professional and one of three BIM Specialists at RATIO in Indianapolis. Together we support the firm’s four offices in the use of design technology, with a focus on Revit. I also support our project directors in the awareness and resolution of coordination issues in RATIO and consultant models from design development through construction administration.

I have a unique background: a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design, and dual master’s in Construction Management and Sustainability, Technology, and Innovation. I never particularly enjoyed hand sketching, but rather preferred to communicate my ideas about design through technology, and so after graduating I began working as a BIM consultant in New York City. This allowed me to hop between large, complex projects for major design firms. Today, at RATIO I am able to solve immediate problems but also analyze, research, and recommend solutions that then evolve from project to project. This is a very different role from my last job but very satisfying as well, and it keeps each day unique and interesting. I’m also interested in sustainable design and have been able to speak on this topic at TEDx and the World Renewable Energy Forum.

Because I am on the computer most of my workday, the way I find balance in my life is to do the opposite at home, where I lead an intentionally “low-tech” life. I love old things (especially books and antiques), working hands-on with real materials, and gardening. These keep me grounded and connected to nature and the people around me.

I’m very interested in what I’ll call the “sociology of buildings” – where buildings become alive with technology and AI and can monitor their own environments. So much data exists today but we’ve only scratched the surface in terms of gathering it and harnessing it. So many things can happen once those pieces are in place, including more efficient interactions between buildings and their users. In the future I don’t see the design process ending after we are done with construction. What we’re doing in the tech community pushes this vision for the future forward, and that’s very exciting and motivating to me.

My session is called “Our house is a very, very fine house: Keeping training in-house.” As a former consultant, presenting this topic is somewhat ironic for me, but having experienced the process from both sides I can say that in-house training, when done correctly, has so many benefits. These range from being able to truly know your audience’s challenges and motivations, to understanding what is best for the firm in such a large and complex tech landscape. Most of all, I believe everyone in the AEC industry has to be a perpetual learner, and investing in in-house training reinforces that message.

This will be my first time attending BILT! I’m excited to meet other professionals in our industry and push the boundaries of what we do together.

Tom Kemp | Associate/BIM Specialist at RATIO
Session: “C4R: Building High Trust 4 Collaboration”
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/thomas-kemp-6769629/

I am a Registered Architect at RATIO Architects in Indianapolis, part of a team of three Specialists that support our four offices in all matters related to BIM: training, troubleshooting, project oversight, developing and maintaining standards, and researching and implementing new technology to further the firm’s focus on design excellence. As an Architect I also have the opportunity to work on billable projects for the firm.

Prior to joining RATIO I worked at STG Design in Austin, Texas, and for an Autodesk reseller as a consultant to smaller firms making the transition to BIM.

My current interests often revolved around my high school-age daughter and son are both heavily involved in their national-caliber marching band year-round, which gives me the chance to spend a lot of time with them and support their activities. I serve on the band booster uniform committee that outfits 250+ high schoolers throughout the year. I also love to read, mostly history and biographies.

I enjoy the variety provided by my work with technology. When I functioned primarily as a project architect I liked large projects and the design process, but didn’t like working on the same project for months at a time; in my role today there are always new things to learn and shifting responsibilities that are part of the job. Architecture technology has changed more in the last 30 years than in previous 100, and its exciting to have been a part of that and to see where the field is heading.

I find it very rewarding to help my colleagues “work smarter” and become better at what they do, rather than just solving a one-time problem. I’m lucky to work in an organization of smart, motivated individuals who are constantly working to improve, and that never-ending pursuit of excellence is very satisfying and motivating in itself. Just like in marching band, its more about getting better at what you do than about beating the competition.

What’s your session title and why it’s important not only to you but the broader AEC community?

My session is called “C4R: Building High Trust 4 Collaboration”. Collaboration is something that RATIO is very good at; by the nature of our work, we have design consultants and partners on most major projects. C4R has changed the way we collaborate, and today it is our go-to platform when multiple team members need live access to a project model.

Though it’s not entirely without flaws, I believe C4R is a game-changer for our industry that will become the norm for collaboration as more firms transition to subscription-based software.

This session will go beyond the technology itself to focus on achieving success with C4R, identifying lessons learned, issues to anticipate, and best practices for setting expectations and organizing internal teams.

BILT reminds me of my first AU in 2004 – a relatively small group of like-minded individuals, working to improve their skills and push the technology to its fullest potential. The atmosphere is relaxed but everyone is interested in constant improvement in what they do. Most importantly, BILT is a real community of familiar faces within the AEC industry, all tackling the same challenges and working together to solve them.

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