A conference held last week at USC called BIM BOP spotlighted some of the incredible innovations in the arena of building information modeling (BIM) that architects are now using in their everyday practice. It also brought to light some innovations they might expect to use in the future. In addition, the conference featured speakers who addressed how architects and engineers can adapt to fast-changing times.
Several presentations, including one by Daniel Segraves, an engineer at CORE studio, the innovation lab at acclaimed international engineering firm Thornton Tomasetti, mentioned advanced modeling techniques only beginning to see the light of day. Segraves spoke of architectural modeling programs currently in development, which employ generative design to offer professionals a vast number of design options that meet certain preprogrammed specs. In the span of one minute, generative design software can originate 1,000 iterations of an idea, helping architects save time on complex calculations and instead focus on their specific vision for a project.
Chad Speas, practice technology manager and architect at national architecture firm Corgan, spoke about embracing technology responsibly. New technology makes many things possible; however, the architect must choose what is both practical and ethical. Technology needs to remain a tool in the hand of practitioners, and not the other way around. Lilian Magallanes, senior industry specialist at Bluebeam, Inc., which was one of the sponsors of the program, addressed another industry concern: change can happen at lightning speed, but it’s important to assess just what your needs are, and find the level of technology and change that’s right for you and your company, in your industry.
What tied together the presentations of more than 30 speakers over the course of the entire day was the commitment to galvanizing the AEC industry to embrace the incredible potential of new and developing technologies. The built world will continue to grow more complex and the challenges we face will not abate; smart practices, from smart practitioners, will lead the way forward.