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2017.05.25

BILT ANZ 2017, Day 1

You know, I should really stop being surprised at the amount of content a conference like BILT can pack into a single day.

The conference opened with a stellar plenary session, led by Chris Needham asking the delegates to be mindful of things they can take home and share, to avoid the classic "information silo" problem. Anthony Hauck followed with a short talk on the future of buildings, and the role that generative design will play--and in fact, is already playing. You can read about what Anthony's team is up to at The Building Lab.

But the highlight of the opening session was the keynote address by Dr. Louise Mahler. Dr. Mahler is a former opera singer with a PhD in Business, and she specializes in communication and presentation skills. Her theatric style and entertaining message had the whole room involved. One lucky "volunteer" helped her educate us on the art of the handshake (right foot forward, keep eye contact, reach straight ahead). My favorite takeway was her suggested "rest position" for presenters: one hand grasping the opposite wrist, with arms & hands relaxed and your weight even on both feet. If you don't know what to do with your hands when you're standing around, try this!

I actually enjoyed Dr. Mahler's talk so much that I went to a workshop she led after lunch, where she gave us techniques for defusing difficult situations, like a hostile question in a Q&A session. (Short version: Acknowledge their statement, reflect or restate the issue back to them, then answer the question.) There was far more, but I don't have time to write it all here! 

A panel discussion in the afternoon tackled the provocative question, "Is BIM Dead?" Conclusion: Not really, not yet, but data-driven and generative design might have the potential to be truly disruptive in a way that BIM itself was not.

The day closed with another general session. Sasha Crotty talked about the present and near-future of BIM, with some really intriguing workflows between Revit, Navisworks, Infraworks, and Dynamo. Daniel Davis of WeWork talked about how data informs their space planning and interior architecture. They're able to use their data with algorithms to more accurately predict the amount of meeting space required in an office, among other things.

Overall it was a very informative day--I look forward to much more over the next 2 days.

I'm going to wrap this up now--I was informed that Australian Rules Football is on tonight, so it's time for some cultural appreciation! (Update: I've tuned in, and I have no idea what's going on.) See you tomorrow!

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