Posts tagged with "TECH+ Expo":
We create interfaces, and that perhaps gives us a certain overlap with the tech industry. The difference is that humans are immersed within the interfaces we create. We constantly work at a different scales—from macro to micro and back again. Unfortunately, all too often with these immersive interfaces that we create, we never truly engage with what it means to the people who live in it, because our engagement with the project has ended long before people move in.How does this impact how you see the lifespan of the design process and the architect’s role in it? A project doesn't end when the doors open. That's when it begins. So a project really starts living when the doors open, when people are in it. Until that point, all of your design is a hypothesis. And until we test that hypothesis, not just in simulations, but in lived reality, we have no proof that it works. What's fascinating is that we cannot test this performance once and think its enough. We are living organisms. And what we create, once occupied, is a living organism too. Architects evolve, the building evolves, and occupants evolve. Not seeing architecture as an evolving, living organism has always been problematic. How has that shifted with the increase in sensing technology and the ability to build measurement in? We live in times where there is so much nuanced data available that we never had access to before. We can now measure environmental quality, energy performance, and space utilization on one end, and human physiology, and brain behavior on the other. Our understanding of the human brain, the human body, and the building have all become more sophisticated. We can now think of the brain and the building in new ways. The human brain responds to the building for sure, but also there is now brain in the building itself that can respond back to human needs. In an era of sensing systems and digital twins the building has a brain of its own. It is well on its way to becoming an intelligent organism that is climate responsive, but can also be community responsive. We are at this inflection point where the human brain and the building brain can be in conversation with each other. They can talk to each other. They can respond to each other. That’s an entire paradigm shift because that changes how we look at architecture and makes us stop looking at architecture as a static object or as an object at all, but rather a living breathing organism that interacts actively with the people that it’s for. And this means investing in people science as rigorously as we invest in building science. So what does that mean for someone like you? What does that mean for how architects can begin to think about approaching what it means to do architecture in this way? For someone like me, and researchers in practice all over, this means finding ways of linking design to outcomes—during occupancy. One of my colleagues says it best when he says “there is nothing post about occupancy.” That is when our work is tested and really comes to life. Occupancy is what marks the transition of a building from being giant sculpture to architecture. Our work should always be judged not pre-, or post-, but during occupancy. The changes I see in our profession are making us focus on occupancy, be accountable to occupancy outcomes, and be able to link the performance of the building, to the performance of the people within that building, within the context of the climate and community that we serve. When we link design to outcomes, we link prediction to proof. We’ve done prediction—not enough, and not always well, but we are getting there. A lot of the modeling we do, a lot of the software we talk about, they’re all about prediction. Unfortunately we’ve reached a point as a society where we keep predicting what is going to happen. But at some point, we’re going to have to stop and ask ourselves, "where’s the proof?" We have to be honest when things didn’t really happen the way we thought they would. If design is about predictions, then we have to have some accountability to the proof. What’s an example of how you’ve put this way of thinking to work? As someone who bridges practice and academia, I believe we have to practice what we preach. Or die trying. Students at the university now are coming out with not just an incredible skillset, but also a level of citizenship we have not seen before, and so the courses I teach are set up to link students to professional mentors and professionals to state of the art academic thinking At our firm, one thing is we set up our own offices as living labs. We had discoveries in-house where we said, “Why don't we just test on ourselves before we do any renovation?” So we did. We were about to refresh a few offices so we set them up as living labs, which meant before we did anything, we did a lot of design diagnostics. We measured the energy use, environmental quality, and spatial quality, as well as the experience of our employees. We used old-school methods of interviews, and surveys as well as digital tools using sensors and spatial analytics. We had data on where everybody sits, how they move, what activities they do at certain points in time, and their personality types. Because these were our own offices, we had access to all of this data not just from before and after they moved into this space, but also every morning and evening for a period of time. That was important for us because we acknowledged that human experience is not defined in a single point in time. Our findings from the Chicago living lab showed an improvement in sleep quality and focus. We saw an improvement in overall reports of well-being. We also saw an improvement in air quality and some of the environmental measures. We were able to say that when the environment becomes better, the human response to the environment also becomes better. One of the things that’s been a challenge for us in our profession is that we have been many, many levels removed from final occupancy. We need to blur those boundaries. We need to be able to speak directly to the occupant. We need to understand that we work for them, that whatever we do is in service of that eventual stakeholder. Investment in research is investment in a "think, make, test" philosophy: getting to a point where every time we want to try a new design strategy, we test it. We have to understand that we are not only doing studies that are pre- or post-occupancy, but setting the stage for a living, breathing, learning ecosystem. We learn from the mistakes because we are living with them. And as we evolve, the system evolves with us. For more on the latest in AEC technology and for information about the upcoming TECH+ conference, visit https://techplusexpo.com/events/la/
AN Media Group, the publisher of The Architect’s Newspaper, has announced its upcoming 2020 TECH+ Expo and Forum events in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago. The conferences showcase the latest in AEC technological innovation, with presentations by industry thought leaders and hands-on demos from an array of companies both new and established showcasing the latest in smart building systems, advanced materials, and other products.
“I got the chance to speak with architects, engineers, construction managers, people from all across the industry” said Cody Kessler of the imaging company Nearmap, of a previous TECH+ conference. “Some of the biggest construction firms that I’ve ever talked to were here at the event.” Conceived as a day-long symposium and expo for both established and up-and-coming tech companies in the AEC realm, the symposium will bring together engineers, architects, real estate experts, app developers, and other industry insiders.
“When we started TECH+ three years ago we were the first conference of this nature focused entirely on the tech hitting the AEC community,” said Susan Kramer, programming and special events director at AN Media Group. “So much has changed in this short period, with architectural firms not only catching up to the construction industry in implementing tech, but with so many firms creating their own apps and platforms, which I think is revolutionary.”
Previous speakers have featured industry leaders including Dennis Sheldon from the Digital Building Lab, Gensler's Hao Ko, plus leaders from HOK, Thornton Tomasetti, IBM, SHoP, Gensler, Atelier Ten, Trimble, Turner Construction, Branch Technology, and the MIT Real Estate Innovation Lab. Past exhibitors have included PlanGrid, Propmodo, View Dynamic Glass, Morpholio, cove.tool, IrisVR, Kubity, Chaos Group, and Graphisoft, among others.
TECH+ will take place in Los Angeles at the LINE Hotel on February 6, 2020; speakers will be announced in mid-November. Following on last summer’s successful New York event, TECH+ will be returning to the city on July 16 at the New York Academy of Sciences. TECH+ will be held in Chicago on October 18. “We like championing these inventors and revolutionaries on the TECH+ stage, and sharing their knowledge and insights with our audience,” said Kramer. “The electricity of dialogue and engagement during these events could be its own power source.”
TECH+ Forum & Expo brings together game-changers in Architecture, Engineering, Construction & Real Estate, sharing the newest technologies to help design, collaborate, and deliver projects efficiently, with the greatest ROI. Earn 8 AIA CEU's.
On September 25, The Architect’s Newspaper hosted its inaugural Tech+ Workplace conference. Located in New York City's Urban Tech Hub, the event brought together experts in the fields of office design, space planning, and facilities. Panels were split into three categories: Designing for Wellness, Designing for Performance, and Designing for the Future.
Melissa Marsh, Founder and Executive director of PLASTARC and Senior Managing Director - Occupant Experience at Savills Studley, and David Briefel, Sustainability Director at Gensler, examined new technologies driving higher standards for healthy work interiors. Both recognized the growing importance of following sustainable protocols, such as the Living Building Challenge and the WELL Building Standard. For Briefel, adherence to these standards includes the insertion of biophilic elements into his design process, including green surfaces, and natural shapes and patterns that encourage place-based relationships.
Technology is rapidly assuming greater tasks in workplace design. For HLW’s Director of Strategy and Discovery Mat Triebner, analytical tools allow for the mass collection of data on how occupants use their space. For the redesign of Willis Towers Watson’s New York’s headquarters, Triebner’s team effectively mapped the interior function and use of spaces. Following the collection of data, HLW produced a pilot redesign for the headquarters, reducing meeting rooms, while boosting common areas and mobile workstations.
John Capobianco, Design Director and Principal at IA Interior Architects' New York office, similarly described the accrual of data as key to a process based on “testing, learning, and integrating.” Capobianco zeroed in on his practice’s Scotiabank Digital Factory project as an example of design encouraging agile collaboration. The 70,000-square-foot office space is centered around a series of rotundas interlinked by axial paths, with the intended goal of fostering a string of “next generation ‘we’ spaces.”
Founded in 1978, FXCollaborative has consistently placed itself at the forefront of architectural technology. Guy Geier, Managing Partner at FXCollaborative, broke down emerging tools being adopted by architectural practices. For Geier, virtual reality is taking on a larger role in the presentation of prospective projects as well as the actual design process. FXCollaborative is also increasingly using building information modeling to track pedestrian flows and environmental conditions, crafting layouts and cladding to accommodate preexisting site characteristics.The Urban Tech Hub, led by Robinson Hernandez, is located within the 1-million-square-foot Company Building adjacent to Grand Central Terminal. Currently undergoing a SHoP-designed renovation, the Hub is dedicated to the support of tech-related entrepreneurs from the pre-seed to full-growth stages.
The next Tech+ event will be hosted in San Francisco on February 8, 2019.
Creating value across the boardData drives innovation, and value creation must remain front and center of the process. Otherwise, organizations risk going out of business if they focus solely on technology for technology’s sake, he says. “Part of the way we want to make sure we’re driving that [value] consistently in the innovation that we’re supporting is, ultimately, 'the juice is worth the squeeze.' You want to find something that’s going to matter.” And what counts isn’t just making incremental improvements to specific functions within the design and construction industry, which Mayer observes is highly distributed. Rather, it’s about taking a holistic view and rethinking the entire process end-to-end, he says. “I think we are at a point in time where looking both at opportunities vertically—which is traditionally where I think people would focus on productivity gains—but also looking horizontally at the entire value chain of the construction process from the initial touch point with the owner, through the design, through the financing stages, through the planning and optimization stages, through the execution and construction control periods into the warranty and the quality control process,” he explained. “The idea about how to scale innovation is a big opportunity for us in the industry.”
The right tool for the jobTo that end, Suffolk Construction has created “smart labs” internally that serve as sort of operations control towers where technologies can be invented, tested, implemented, and scaled. Utilizing a series of interconnected screens on what Suffolk calls "huddle walls," the team at Suffolk can simultaneously view project information and financial reports or engage in lean strategies and design planning throughout the lifecycle of a project. The labs also feature a virtual reality "cave" with head-mounted displays in which projects can be viewed individually or as a group. Naturally, Mayer doesn’t see immersive technology as a replacement for existing communication tools, but rather as an alternative. “When I look at virtual reality or augmented reality… I see those as additional options to add value to the conversation,” he said. “Because some information is going to be most effectively delivered in sort of static form on an iPad, but some of it is going to be much more effective if you put on a headset and engage with it.” Whatever is most effective—whether it’s a 3-D model, a 2-D model, or shop drawings—is the tool that should be used, he adds. At the end of the day, that’s what adds the most value.
Welcome to the Start TankBut shifts of this magnitude are precisely what’s needed to create waves for real market transformation. “These big waves may indeed be the proof that digital transformation of this industry has reached an inflection point—and that is the ideal time to invest for maximum return,” Devitte observed. To those willing to test the tech-infested waters, they’ll have the opportunity to dive in during Start Tank, shark tank-like feature for exhibiting start-ups to pitch their winning ideas to potential investors and customers at this year’s TECH+ expo in New York City on May 22nd. Led by Devitte and featuring special guest judges Dareen Salama (Lehrer) Justin Hendrix (NYC Media Lab), and Greg Schleusner (HOK), Start Tank will enable startups to get their stories out to the market. “For potential customers it is a unique opportunity to learn about solutions they can deploy to advance their businesses,” Devitte said. “To make sure we deliver on both of those fronts, the judges are industry professionals who are potential customers for the startups. And as we say in the venture business, we will see if the ‘dogs eat the food,’ all while having fun in a positive environment.”
It’s all about communicationMai’s enthusiasm for change stems from her belief that these new tools are improving communication and client engagement—an assessment that’s been tested in practice at Perkins+Will and the results of which she’ll share during her presentation at Tech+. “I think VR/AR is the ideal communication tool for the AEC industry,” Mai said. “As architects, communication of design is the bread and butter of our business.” Noting that many clients aren’t particularly adept at visualization, Mai suggests that 3-D technology can help them better understand not only how a design looks, but also gain a better sense of scale and how the space will actually feel. Oftentimes, clients look at drawings and say they understand them, but are surprised when a space is built because they don’t conceptualize the same way design practitioners do. Mixed reality solves the problem in many ways. “We’ve been implementing all these new technologies into our everyday design process and really looking to engage our stakeholders and our clients, and offer them the opportunity to be fully engaged in the design process,” Mai explained. “It’s not just giving them nice little drawings; we really put them into an immersive environment and encourage them to evaluate things by really understanding what the design is about so that, in the end, I think that the clients are a lot more comfortable and happy with the final product.”
Overcoming barriers to innovationAs a result, Mai says VR and AR technologies are streamlining the design and review process, saving both time and money. With the cost of hardware and software dropping, she suggests the barrier to entry will be lowered, especially to smaller firms that currently may not be able to afford them. Ultimately, wide-scale adoption of mixed reality technology boils down to two things, according to Mai: fear of change, and a company-wide commitment to innovation. “If you can get over the fear of changing and have kind of long-term sight of the future and not be afraid of changing, that’s a critical component of innovation,” she said. “And then your company leaders have to be really promoting company-wide innovation, to have people just think out of the box and looking for new ways of doing things in every aspect of the company.” [vimeo 261011445 w=640 h=360] TECH+ Expo from Architect's Newspaper on Vimeo.
Some of the residents include
The architecture firm investigated new framing systems for mass timber.
The engineering company explored inflatable shading devices.
MIT students have created self-deploying fabric canopies that can be dropped via aircraft.
This construction manufacturer is developing a system for robotically constructing masonry walls.