- 08:00am - 09:30am Advanced Design Integration for Radical Energy Efficiency AU104-6
- 10:00am - 11:30am AU Keynote and Welcome Address with Carl Bass
- 01:00pm - 02:30pm Experience Design for Architects, and Product, Automotive, Package, Interior, and Interactive Designers DL114-2
- 03:00pm - 04:30pm BIM 4 Contractors: From 2D Conversions to 3D Manipulations CR118-1
- 05:00pm Industry Keynote: AutoCAD® and Media & Entertainment Keynote and Mixer KN122-1
I was going to write these up and publish daily at Autodesk University but… So over the next few days will summarise the sessions I attended, then plan to revisit some topics in greater detail as time allows.
Advanced Design Integration for Radical Energy Efficiency
First up, how to save the world! Amory Lovins, co-founder and Chief Scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute, gave a presentation that spanned from Auto Design to HVAC Systems.
He demonstrated that clever, commonsense application of technology can make a difference. Buildings that are energy positive, HVAC installations that save both capex and energy, smart windows in old buildings, cars that offer the space of mid size SUV with double the economy of the best small hatchback.
The surprising thing is none of it is especially radical. His approach is “just” logical rethinking of what we do by looking at the whole system. The secret is focusing the result desired at the consumption end of the supply chain and letting savings there compound back through the system. Interesting that on the plane to Autodesk University I was reading about a 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbodiesel electric BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept that offered the space and performance of an M3 but will do 75 mpg (it was an English book!). Although Amory mentioned Japanese Manufacturers and Ford it seems they aren’t alone in applying new thinking.
Amory had an optimistic and technologically friendly outlook, we don’t need to return to the cave as so many eco warriors seem to desire, but with an appropriate note of caution. An audience question on climate change prompted the answer “irrespective of that we should be doing this anyway”, but also that the climate experts he knows are very concerned…
Check out the Factor Ten Engineering (10xE) Website (www.10xe.org) for how you can be involved:
Factor Ten Engineering (10xE) is an ambitious project undertaken by Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) to accelerate the reformation of engineering pedagogy and practice. While we believe the target of ten-fold gains in resource productivity is achievable, it is clearly not easy. Such optimization will require original trans-disciplinary thinking and a willingness to question familiar practice.
Although not application focused, i.e.not the typical AU session, it was an inspiring and refreshing start to the event.
AU Keynote and Welcome with Carl Bass
Lynn Allen opened and showed Laura’s YouTube clip which won a ticket to AU. I had seen it on YouTube but it looked fabulous on the huge arena screens. Then the usual legal disclaimer statement was performed by Elvis, a very Vegas approach!
Carl Bass, Autodesk CEO, kicked off with a theme which pervaded the rest of Autodesk University. How technology evolves from:
The technologies mentioned included: cloud computing (render and analysis), mixed virtual and real environments (design & film production), new collaboration tools (social media + design) and use of technology to tell a design story. Perhaps the difference to previous keynotes I’ve seen (all since 2004 except 2008) were the many real world, not future scenario, projects shown. From Civil (Doyle Drive S.F.) to the production process, and a glimpse, of the movie Avatar.
Jeff Kowalski, Autodesk VP and CTO, talked about convergence and how infrastructure (net & cloud computing) and hardware development (location aware connected smart phones) will make the Impossible > Impractical become Possible even more rapidly than before.
The demos showed a Smartphone with virtual and real information displayed in context thanks to design models and coordinated location awareness. That combined phone, video, GPS, Compass and accelerometer in your pocket opens up a whole new world.
Jeff also talked about the “the next possible” using Autodesk Labs technology to walk through a scenario when web applications (Dragonfly), catalogs (Seek) and visualization (Showcase) could enhance the purchasing experience for something mundane like an oven. Seeing it in place, in your home before stepping out the door could solve a lot of problems.
BIM has moved beyond Possible towards Expected but the AU keynote stunner for me was a demonstration of laser scanning for as built models. They showed a high resolution photo mapped 3D scan of the Mandalay Bay Convention Center including the 16,000 seat arena we were sitting in. It took BIM from the realm of new projects to as built. A technology preview that showed one day every building could have a BIM model.
Experience Design for Architects, and Product, Automotive, Package, Interior, and Interactive Designers
When I heard a podcast about this session it got my attention. It was another "non-typical" AU session as was completely non-technical. I mean “experience and emotion” at a computer conference is usually only seen when you mention CAD vs BIM, Windows vs Mac, or The Ribbon in the wrong company!
Using a wide variety of examples from products, packaging, cars, even hotels David S Freeman showed how factors like emotion, feel and human response can influence your design. His background is character & plot development techniques "Beyond Structure" for authors of all types (Print, film, games).
He showed how those techniques can generate ideas for products, interior/exterior design themes and potential new experiences to attract & enhance the customer/user/client experience. David mentioned Mind Mapping as a technique for brainstorming and making unusual connections while I was sitting there capturing notes, on the work tablet PC, with MindManager!
As I said, hardly the typical AU session and all the better for it!
BIM 4 Contractors: From 2D Conversions to 3D Manipulations
Yay, I got to meet Laura Handler! Very cool having known her from excellent blog for years and more recently Twitter. That was a bonus on top of an excellent session on dealing with BIM for construction, rather than design. Although not a contractor I got a lot of information on model specification from the construction point of view. If anything this AU, now BIM for design is old hat, is revealing the gap between “Design BIM” and “Build BIM” and how that is exposing “everyone works in a BIM” to be fallacy. Part of that is the legacy of disconnected process but also the inadequate tools and workflow for construction vs design models. If the cloud removes physical aspects of disconnect the gap will remain until the tools to cope with the full BIM process. I hope Autodesk are taking notice…
Industry Keynote: AutoCAD® and Media & Entertainment
No pictures from this one as it was locked down for a very good reason. The AutoCAD presentation showed how Marriot Hotels have used digital prototyping to dramatically reduce hotel interior prototyping costs. Digital models have largely replaced prototype rooms or actual hotel refits to test new ideas. Another real world example of Digital Prototyping changing process resulting in better solutions, for less capital expenditure.
While that was impressive it was the next part that demanded a no recording policy (apart from Shaan’s authorised Audience shot below). I wasn’t prepared to see how the rather imposing Security Staff who surrounded the audience reacted to a camera!
The media division had organised a behind the scenes look and 15+ minute preview of AVATAR. It is a technological tour de force created by James Cameron with the help of Weta Studios. They used “virtual camera” technology and MotionBuilder to shoot real actors, their CG character and a totally CG world as you would a real scene. It was presented in Dolby 3D surround and was stunning to see the quality unlimited talent, technology and budget (outside of Hollywood’s unreal world) can achieve. However I must admit what we saw was enough as it didn’t look like my sort of film.
Images from Flickr Official Avatar Movie