The first full day of Autodesk University 2015 is a wrap! (At least for me. Some of you can survive on less sleep than I can.) And before I’m completely worn out by the rest of the event, here’s a quick recap.

Construction Launch Pad

Big news here, from the first-ever construction-focused kickoff event. Project Alexandria officially became BIM 360 Docs, a project document management platform that is planned to formally launch early next year. I haven’t seen too much yet, but it looks very exciting.

Class 1: Knowledge Management 

My first official AU session was an exploration of Knowledge Management. It was a very interesting discussion of how to prevent “silos” of information, where only one person possesses critical knowledge. Some solutions were technical, some not.

Opening Session

I’ve been to a lot of keynote addresses in the last 12 years, and this was one of the better ones. I live-tweeted it, but here’s a summary of my takeaways.

  • The future (and the present) is the covergence of building and manufacturing.
  • Always ask yourself, “Are we working on the right problem?”
  • When recruiting new talent, the promise of meaningful work outweighs perks like free food. (Except maybe at Facebook.)
  • Technology has changed the course of human history more than any other development. This is supported by data.
  • Hardware investment has plateaued, while software investment continues to rise.
  • The pace of change will only continue to increase. (It feels like we should do this every year, but it’s also true every year.)
  • If you’re satisfied with “good enough,” you’ll never know what’s possible.
  • Generative design plus additive manufacturing plus advanced materials equals some really cool stuff. (Exhibit A is Airbus’s new bulkhead design.)
  • In the future, you won’t learn a design tool. You’ll have a design tool that learns you.

A great session overall, and it finished early!

Innovation Forum: What’s in it for me?

After a lunch with the AUGI volunteers, it was off to the first of the Innovation Forums. These are sessions focused on real customers doing really cool things. They’re hosted by Roman Mars, of 99% Invisible, who’s always worth listening to. Again I live-tweeted, but here’s the summary.

  • If you’re worried about the effect of a new technology, remember this: “All things will adjust themselves to the new order.”
  • The second half of that thought is that “water will find its own level.” And when it does, which side of the waterline will you be on?
  • The definition of a “killer app” is one that creates a reason for you to buy the technology required to run it.
  • Innovative model-based estimating means starting it earlier, before cost-driving decisions are made.
  • We need to bridge the gap between design models and construction models, and between construction models and the field.
  • When evaluating a project, consider the “triple bottom line”: environmental, social, economic.

Women in BIM

I was fortunate to attend a panel discussion on “unconscious bias” with Autodesk and industry leaders. It provided plenty of food for thought. I’m still processing most of it, and will probably revisit it in a future post.

Ready for Day 2

I wrapped up the day at the AUGI booth in the exhibit hall. Looking back at this post, it’s hard to believe it all happened today! Time to sign off and get ready for Wednesday…