Wrap up report of BiLT
Conference attendance & travel sponsored by Autodesk User Group International
Text from AUGI Article
There is more to BIM than technology and BiLT ANZ 2018 reflected an increasing focus on the human side of BIM and related AEC professions.
One prominent sign of this was a panel discussion, “Gender diversity in AEC: Challenging our industry sponsored by Central Innovation”, which featured on the Friday plenary mainstage. Moderated (with contributions) by Justine Clark (Parlour); Elizabeth Harper (GHD), Glenda Caldwell (QUT) & Todd Bartley (AECOM) challenged the majority male (~85%) attendees to address diversity in their own environment. Aspects discussed included the benefits of diversity, considering messaging in advertising, approaches to diversity in the recruitment process, training to address conscious/unconscious bias, and flexible working arrangements.
A great resource (for local attendees) is “Marion’s List”: a public register of women in Australian architecture and the built environment disciplines to approach for input, mentoring and speaking. It’s a proactive response to help address gender bias in industry forums/events and a fine example to consider matching (if not already established) in your region.
Saturday, the final day of BiLT ANZ 2018, skipped the previous days morning plenary and launched straight into the 75-minute streamed sessions. For me it started with Phil Lazarus’ session “Advance your digital agenda” which was also all about people. @bimtroublemaker was in great form sharing how to talk BIM with your management. It was an introduction to the psychology of management and how to frame your BIM strategy in a way they will embrace. A compilation of inspired career advice rounded out a great session which finished with the line: “Never curse that "They don't understand BIM", that keeps us employed”.
“A Guided Tour of Cutting Edge Creek with Some BIM Geeks” was a fast-paced multi-presenter tour of both technology and techniques led by Luke Johnson with Joe Banks, Dominic Martens, Adam Sheather & (via video conference from the US) Aaron Maller contributing. It ranged from choosing and implementing hardware (personal and network), approaches to evaluating/auditing models, tips for data wrangling (including a mention of Safe’s FME and the line “a Revit model is not a database”) and collaboration platforms. It ended with an overview of the diverse range of hardware they use every day. Aaron’s is missing from the photo below as needed an entire second slide…
Luke Johnson’s “The Worst BIM Projects - A Case Study of How BIM Can Go Wrong, and How to Avoid the Pain” was a frank, courageous, look at a project where BIM didn’t work. It was revealing that the failure was more the human, contractual and process aspects than a tale of technology not working. Luke addressed what happened, how to avoid or detect similar signs of looming problems in your own projects, and how to handle them if they happen. While it is great to hear of success stories it is also valuable to learn from other’s lessons, pain, hard as that can be to share.
My final session of the day was “Connect the docs: BIM 360”: Carl Storms’ impressive explanation of the mix of applications and services which make up Autodesk BIM 360. To compress the complex and twisted history of Autodesk’s cloud offer, the capabilities, duplications and limitations of the ‘Classic” and newly released “Next Generation” BIM 360 into 75 minutes is quite a feat. Carl did this admirably in a slick presentation which covered all aspects.
The Closing Keynote and Wrap Up was sponsored by ClearEdge and Kelly Cone hosted the Vision 20/20 Competition. It was a fast paced (20 slides, of max 20 seconds each) and fun look into the future of AEC/BIM based on the topic: “The Dangers of Technology”. Performed live and judged by the audience (voting with the BiLT app) in real time. Finalists Carl Storms and Nathan Love did a brilliant job netting prizes including a ticket to any BiLT 2019 event (Nathan) and gigantic Millennium Falcon Lego set (Carl).
After thanking all the attendees for coming, the Organisers, Sponsors, Speakers, Technicians, and QUT Volunteer Students who helped deliver it BiLT ANZ Chairman Chris Needham summarised the biggest BiLT event to date:
This quote, from Ashraf’s opening keynote, Chris highlighted in his wrap up resonated. BiLT is about people, connecting, learning, sharing and BiLT ANZ 2018 delivered.
With the conference formally wrapped up the BiLT finale was the “Special Event brought to you by CSI & BILT ANZ — an elegant evening with lots of food, cocktails, music, dancing and entertainment”. The venue was spectacular, Brisbane City Hall, and host Ashraf Habibullah certainly delivered! The entertainment was his band, from the US, and with food & drink galore it was a spectacular ending to the conference.
BiLT ANZ 2018 delivered an impressive variety of technology, techniques and tuition but most importantly a brilliant venue for networking and learning. There are regional BiLT events around the world, next up is BiLT North America in St Louis, and you won’t regret attending if you get the opportunity.
You can follow BiLT activity on Twitter @BiLTevent