Expo Plus education includes 16 hours of industry market classroom education, November 4-5. An Expo Plus registration is required to attend. During each breakout time, attendees have the choice of 4 sessions and are free to move between session rooms throughout the morning.

NOTE: As more education sessions are confirmed, they will be added here!

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The following is subject to change. Disclaimer at bottom of page.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

10 - 10:50 am

Mar Ricketts, Principal, GuildWorks LLC
Sebastian Collet, VP, GuildWorks LLC
Beatriz Ferreyra, Lead Design, GuildWorks LLC
David Bowick, P. Eng., Principal – Blackwell.

The 1974 US Pavilion/ RiverFront Park Pavilion in Spokane Washington was one of the early cable net tension structures in this country developed for the World’s Fair and serves as an icon for this eastern Washington State city.  GuildWorks was chosen to lead the process of developing a new shading experience into the existing structure.  To do this, we were required to reverse engineer this almost 50-year-old iconic structure.  This process challenged and expanded our design thinking and capabilities and involved changes and developments in understandings along the way.

We will walk participants through starting at our design process going into engineering and site surveys to final specification and installation, including road bumps along the way we needed to solve. All of which lead to our successful completion of the new iconic shade array on the pavilion.

Participants will learn about:

  • Design techniques
  • Survey process
  • Engineering process
  • Fabrication and installation process

Kevin Sandefur, Production Manager, Awning Works Inc.

In this session, we will present the challenge and balance involved in making expansion plans. Growth can happen through osmosis or through planning, both create a surmountable challenge to stay profitable; success hinges on Leadership and Employee engagement.

By using Key Point Indicators (KPI’s) associated with Design, Manufacturing, Sales and Install Kevin will systematically discuss the challenges associated with Growth, along with how to mitigate and or eliminate these potentially destructive events.


Alan Stewart,  General Manager, MPanel Software Solutions

Shade Sails appear to be simple structures when in fact there is a lot of technology going on behind the scenes which is often unknown and underestimated. The result is that many shade sails fail long before their normal life expectancy. The right design and detail will ensure you avoid these problems.

In this session you will learn:

  • The differences between the right and wrong design
  • The differences between webbing and cable edge


Stephanie Rodgers, Director of Product Research and Development, Apex Mills

Explosive growth in the wearables sector has advance textiles on the forefront of something BIG.  Women have embraced the technology opportunities of textiles and the science and engineering behind it. Many of the emerging functional fabrics are being developed by women empowered by cross-disciplinary approaches to manufacturing.

Join Stephanie for this session as she highlights a few women from different backgrounds that have used textiles as a platform for science and innovation, highlighting e-textiles and how we can encourage this new market sector.


11 - 11:50 am

Ed van Hinte, Lightness Studios
Marie O’Mahony, O’Mahony Consultancy (Moderator)
Panelists TBD

This virtual panel session, led by author Ed van Hinte, will provide a renewed view on lightness and how the world might benefit from it. Lightness concerns saving energy through weight reduction of just about everything, by rethinking structures with a sophisticated composite approach.

Cindy Thompson, MFA, Founder, President, Transformit

An artist’s point of view of today’s interior architectural fabric opportunities. Cindy Thompson, MFA, of Transformit, will present several case studies illustrating the advantages of an artistic approach to shade, lighting and acoustics in interior projects. There will be pictures, of course, but also hands-on models and demonstrations.

Ms. Thompson is both an artist and a teacher. Questions will be encouraged. Be prepared to participate!


King Mukherjee, President and Professor, Global Impex USA and Saint John’s University
Bob Gazich, President, Tap Your Potential

Presenters will discuss how international business and supply chain are the most critical component in today’s global economy. Attendees will learn how to manage, source and executive a global supply chain strategy.

Find out how culture and leadership plays a role in the success of sourcing. Presenters will also share their combined 50 years of experience in global sourcing of industrial textiles and arts and crafts sourcing from Asia and other regions. We will examine the opportunities and threats and conclude with some future strategies, tips and predictions for global sourcing and supply chain management.


Colin Blackford, Director of Strategy & Development, Mermet USA

Shading is an important piece of any sustainably-designed project. It is a necessary safeguard that enables a building to provide that critical connection with the outdoors, providing views and access to daylight, while protecting occupants and building performance from the discomfort and energy waste that can occur from glare and solar heat gain.

Understanding the basic material compositions of the majority of shading products in the market and comparing and contrasting how those materials perform in terms of view-through, dimensional stability, recyclability, and fire retardancy will help designers select a shade fabric that meets the sustainable demands of a project.

This presentation seeks to educate attendees on these points while challenging them to consider the energy that was used in the production of the shade materials found in their buildings, as well as the impact those materials will have inside the built environment.


Thursday, November 5, 2020

10 - 10:50 am

Reinhold Schneider, Dr., Teamleader Textile Printing, DITF

Traditional dyeing and textile finishing is marked by impregnation of textiles with diluted dyestuffs or finishing chemicals and subsequent thermal fixation. This processing requires a lot of energy. The use of UV-curable dyeing liquors and finishing chemicals would significantly contribute to energy saving and new textile products. UV-curable inks for inkjet-printing and UV-curable finishing chemicals were developed.

It will be shown that these UV-curable inks and finishing chemicals provide excellent functionality, very soft hand and excellent fastness properties on different textile materials. In addition, UV-curing was also successfully applied in the curing of composite materials, which reduces energy consumption significantly and enables new products.


Karl Sherrill, National Manufacturing Practice Leader, Marsh & McLennan Agency

The manufacturing industry is facing digital disruption. Shifting economic alignments, changing customer expectations, and new technology are forcing the industry to examine old assumptions and to transform processes. Gone are the days of consistent human oversight of mechanical manufacturing processes. Instead, traditional managers and supervisors are being supplanted by an army of robots and tech-enabled soldiers. Technological advancements are firmly entrenched and growing in power due to support of a tech-savvy workforce. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is here, creating both opportunities and challenges around efficiency, global competition, workforce safety and cyber security.


Ar. Morsalin Choudhary Rana, Archineer, Architect, ALM Tensile Structure Ltd., Bangladesh

This presentation explores the opportunity of using Jute fabric as an alternative material for tensile membrane structures.  Jute has many environmental benefits. Jute is biodegradable, non-toxic and has high tensile strength. Application of Jute based products is green, sustainable and reduces carbon footprints. Jute cord, ropes, bags have been used for centuries, and Bangladesh is the natural home of the best quality Jute.

Bangladesh is the largest Jute exporter in the world. A wide range of products are made from Jute. Technical textiles such as Jute geotextiles (JGT) made from Jute are being used in road construction, riverbank erosion control, filtration, etc. Many types of research are being undertaken to improve the quality and longevity of Jute. Tensile fabric structures are special type of structures where roofs or canopies were loaded only in tension. Tensile fabric structures are lightweight, translucent, flexible, and have sculptural quality comparing to traditional structures. These qualities tensile membrane structures match the requirements of visitor’s shed design in Dhaka zoo.


TBD Marine Fabricators Session (Specialty Fabrics)
11 - 11:50 am

Gustavo Ramirez Lares, M. Engineer, IMS Bauhaus, Germany

In this session, presenters will provide a detailed overview of the research and development of Textile Architecture in the 21st century and its use to improve climate change efforts and energy savings.

Jonathan Palmer, CEO, Autometrix, Inc.
Truy Pham, Director of Global Sales, Autometrix, Inc

As business owners begin to dream of retirement, many small businesses are faced with the challenge of figuring out their succession plan.  While it might seem counterintuitive to invest more money into a business you hope to leave, investing in capital equipment and the processes they are a part of can be key to preparing your business for the next owners and building its value in their eyes.

Panelists and Description Forthcoming!

Bruce Wright, Principal, Just Wright Communications

Architects, and anyone in the construction industry, must reduce the embodied carbon in their buildings to counteract the threat of a warming planet. Architectural fabrics can help by shading buildings and human environments.

When it comes to assessing the life-cycle carbon footprint of fabric, no other construction material can compete because the manufacture, transportation to a construction site, and the durability of fabric is much less harmful when compared to steel, concrete, glass or masonry.

*IFAI Disclaimer: Although every reasonable effort is made to provide the speakers, topics, and sessions listed, some changes or substitutions may occur. Speakers and sessions are subject to cancellation or change up to and including the day the session(s) are scheduled to be held. Changes or cancellations are made at the discretion of IFAI and may be done without notifying attendees. If sessions are changed or cancelled no refunds should be expected. Agreement to attend the IFAI Expo acknowledges acceptance of this provision.