Posts in category ‘Events’

2018.05.27

BiLT ANZ 2018 Finale

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.

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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”.

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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…

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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

 

2016.07.19

RTC After-Thoughts

The Revit Technology Conference North America has wrapped up for another year. It's time to unpack, do laundry, re-adjust time zones and continue on with life. Looking back over the week, it's interesting to note the reasons people have for attending RTC. Most go to learn something new, obviously. Some go just to network with colleagues, some to meet with a vendor whose product is of particular interest to them. All go with expectations that this conference, or any conference, will ultimately meet those requirements.

RTC has a knack for balance between just enough sessions, time for networking and meeting with vendors. Each year, I'm impressed with the fluidity of the conference. Even when an industrial washing machine overpowers a session classroom, and said classroom moves to the lowest, farthest corner of the center, there is hardly a hiccup. (Yes, that happened!)

The overall purpose of the conference is to improve and inspire Revit users. People from all over the world come to this conference to expand their knowledge not just in Revit, but in anything that goes along with Revit...BIM, add-ins, processes, etc. There are those "a-ha!" moments, when you see something that really clicks, and you think "I just have to take this back to my office!" There were quite a few of those moments for me this year.

Next year's RTC is being held in Toronto, Canada, August 3rd-5th. Mark your calendars now, and maybe you, too, can have your own Revit "a-ha!" moment. Until then...REVIT ON!

2016.07.15

We're Halfway There - RTC NA Midweek

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Now that my east side internal clock has adjusted to the west side time difference, I can take a few minutes to think back over the last few days of RTC North America. Already equipped with several ideas to take back to my own office, it's been a productive time of learning sessions and networking. The keynote speaker, Ashraf Habibullah, wowed the RTC audience and challenged us to take a look beyond our technical selves and really think about the impacts of our work and our technology.

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The sessions have been varied and enticing...it has been hard to choose between sessions. A popular session was "Ask the BIM Stars", which included some top names in our industry, including Lynn Allen, Steve Stafford, Brian and Desiree Mackey (to name a few!), and hosted by Bill Debevc. There have been sessions on topics like FormIt and Enscape (another of my favorites!), Facilities Management, and of course, BIM. The uses for Global Parameters has been covered by a few sessions, and it's easy to see that these will become powerful tools within Revit.

Speaking of Enscape, Phil Read's booth in the expo hall has been a hit with those of us who remember when arcade games were the latest and greatest!

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A big part of RTC is the networking, and it's been exciting to meet people from all over the world who have the same interest in Revit and are looking for ways to help their own firms improve Revit workflows and production. One can sometimes learn just as much over a lunchtime conversation as sitting in a class session. And, those connections we make extend beyond these few days at RTC, even into developing business relations and future project collaborations.

Finally, it's important to recognize AUGI's presence here at RTC. As a Gold Sponsor, we're here to get the word out about AUGI, this great community of not only Revit users, but all Autodesk users. So, thank you, AUGI!

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2016.05.24

RTC Australasia 2016 - Post-Event Wrap Up

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The Twelfth RTC Australasia: A wrap up and why it is not being called the “Revit Technology Conference” anymore.

This year, the RTC Australasia was held at the Crowne Plaza in one of Australia's most sophisticated food and wine regions: the Hunter Valley. About 150km north of Sydney - nearly 400 people attended this year’s RTC Australasia, making it a great conference once again.

Welcome and opening statements: Opening the conference, Chris Needham started the Keynote Address event with an opening remark, announcing that the RTC is no longer the Revit Technology Conference – not confined by name or nature to all things Revit. It is no longer constrained to design, either. He outlined that the goal of the RTC event management would be to build an attendee base of a much broader demographic.

The Freak Factor: This year’s keynote speaker was David Randoll who presented The Freak Factor: Discovering Uniqueness by Flaunting Weakness. As someone who professed to talk for a living, he spoke about how people can get the most out of themselves by allowing them to do what they are best at instead of trying to fix their flaws. In fact their flaws can be important clues to their strengths.

Conference Sessions: Afterwards, the conference continued with individual sessions, including presentations and lab sessions as well as two new streams for construction planning and estimating and the ArchiCAD user community which joined via ARCHICON. As usual the lab sessions offered gallery and class seating and – apart from some technical challenges during some sessions – were very well prepared and presented.

Exhibition: The exhibition took place in the exhibition centre, presenting Sefaira, Autodesk, Codebook, USG Boral, Solibri, Invicara, the RTC gadgets lab, CAD Learning (who also sponsored the competition prizes), Pluralsight, A2K Technologies, SysQue, Newforma, Peer Software, Ideate, Revitzo, CAD Group, CR Kennedy, dRofus, Oasys and Chaos Group as well as Common Elements Ltd.

Social Events: As always, the social events were one of the highlights during the RTC event. At the end of the first day of the conference, the Welcome Function took place in the exhibition hall (sponsored by Ideate), being followed by the Friday Evening Function which took place at the Hope Estate Winery (sponsored by Chaos Group). The last day was highlighted by the Saturday’s Gala Dinner (sponsored by New Forma) in which Chris Needham announced that the RTC Australasia 2017 will be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre, from the 25th to the 27th of May, 2017.

Overall the twelfth RTC Australasia 2016 has shown that the AEC industry is not just discussing BIM as a new technology anymore, instead BIM has become an integral part of business strategies and conversations. As Dr. Dominik Holzer mentioned in his session, BIM technology may not always be mandatory yet but there is an increasing number of organisations and states that are already asking for it, changing the AEC industry and the role of those managing it.

2016.05.13

RTC Australasia 2016

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The Twelfth RTC Australasia: Thursday 12 May – Saturday 14 May 2016

Not being completely over yet, but the twelfth RTC Australasia at the Crowne Plaza can already be described as a great event again. Having attended numerous sessions to meet some of the world's top instructors and industry experts while being able to network and share ideas with an international community - accomplishing the free Revit certification examinations in between - just make this conference unique.

Keynote Speaker: This year’s keynote speaker was David Rendall, presenting The Freak Factor: Discovering Uniqueness by Flaunting Weakness. David Rendall has spoken to audiences around the world and has a doctor of management degree in organizational leadership, as well as a graduate degree in psychology. Believing that amplifying people’s weaknesses is crucial for their success, he encourages them to do the same. In fact, people’s weakness is actually the best clue to their strengths. As a result, people should find out how maximizing their “freak factor” can transform their life, work, and relationships:

“What makes us weird also makes us wonderful. What makes us weak also makes us strong.”

Speakers and the Glorious Gadgets: Usually a project is not only about modelling as documentation is also playing a big role. Katja Gard – Revit Manager at the Buchan Group – was speaking about this in her session: Documentation…Documentation. She outlined a typical workflow by dividing it into four simple steps: Pre-model, model set-up, working model(s) and documentation. While outlining the pro and cons of the strategy itself, she also reminds the audience that the human factor will always be important. Harlan Brumm - Autodesk’s Revit Product Manager for Architecture and Construction – presented the latest advances in Revit and its companion building products. These included i.e. new functions for railings which can now be hosted on shaped edited floors, roofs and on the top of walls, the introduction of depth cueing which allows users to add depth to their elevations and sections as well as a new text editor and layout engine. Also tags have been improved, allowing to calculate values and improvements to leaders to document a model more individually. One of the last speakers today was Dominik Holzer – owner of AEC Connect and author of the book: The BIM Manager’s Handbook. His presentation: You are a BIM Manager – Really? outlined the cornerstones of management activities associated with BIM as most BIM managers seem to be insufficiently trained in management – definitely one of the most interesting presentations today. As always the glorious gadgets session was again one of the highlights during the RTC event. This year, Chris Needham presented new gadgets such as the mushroom death suit, flyboard, aeromobile, metallic glass, a drone defender and much more.

LAB Sessions: Like the years before, the lab sessions have also been part of this year’s RTC again, offering class and gallery seating. Especially Dynamo as the visual programming extension for Autodesk Revit has been discussed quite often during these lab sessions. For example, Jason Howden – CEO and Director at RVT Tools - presented the String Theory – Dynamo for Absolute Beginners and a follow up lab session, getting people started with leveraging the power of Dynamo. Stephen Taskin – Studio Design Technology Manager at Woods Bagot – identified useful applications of Dynamo programming to increase efficiency on projects as part of his lab session: Dozen Practical Uses of Dynamo. Following these lab sessions, Konrad Sobon - the creator of Mantis Shrimp and Bumblebee plug-ins and Project BIM Specialist at Grimshaw – presented: Mantis Shrimp - Interop for Grasshopper and Dynamo and a second session called: Bumblebee - An Interop for Excel and Dynamo. Mantis Shrimp is a Dynamo (Revit) and Grasshopper (Rhino) interoperability project which allows users to read Rhino's native file type while Bumblebee can be used as an Excel and Dynamo interoperability plugin that vastly improves Dynamo’s ability to read and write Excel files.

Looking at all these possibilities and new developments that have been presented throughout the event and during the lab sessions, it is quite obvious that design technology is rapidly transforming how architects and engineers are working today.

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