AU London 2017

Autodesk University began in 1993 as an Autodesk software user conference in San Francisco, USA. Architects like ourselves plus designers and engineers from other disciplines could come together to learn more about Autodesk’s CAD software like AutoCAD. Perhaps as important a reason to attend this event was to meet with peers to discuss the new challenges presented to our industry by this very new technology.

An enormous amount has happened since these early days of 2D CAD with Autodesk leading the way in producing advanced software applications helping us, hopefully to become more efficient at designing and delivering buildings. More recently the BIM (Building Information Modelling) process has led to revolutionary changes in the way we work so, in an effort to keep KSS ahead of our competitors by improving our own processes we felt that these key events are worth attending.

Autodesk University is now held in cities all round the world with the main event in Las Vegas, USA. When it was announced that London would hold this event for the first time we took advantage of this to send three delegates. The event itself was held over two days at Tobacco Dock and is a very vibrant show with a mixture of hands-on learning labs, classes and conferences taken by leading experts as well as interactive exhibitions taking place to inspire us all. The shear amount of different speakers on offer on a whole range of BIM related subjects meant that between us we were able to choose completely different sessions to attend. The breaks in between these sessions allowed us to compare notes and to speak with other delegates gaining some very interesting insights into just how far KSS has come in our quest to improve our productivity and understanding of the process.

After a quite interesting and optimistic Keynote presentation on the first morning from Autodesk we ventured out to learn more attending our pre-booked conferences and lab sessions. We were able to change these bookings for others if we were inspired by a speaker or subject that we felt we would benefit from or simply walk out and swop with another if we felt there was nothing new to learn from it.

There were a number of good tips and tricks picked up for us all to bring back to show the rest of our staff, but good new enhancement now is the free AU on-line facility giving those who could not attend access to the learning content, industry talks and conferences that took place this year. Technical Director Will Ardill, BIM Development Manager Arran Ewin and myself were unable to attend all the sessions we would have liked so this will give us the chance to catch up on things that we missed.

I think that all of us came away from this event feeling that we gained further knowledge and certainly with the confidence and pride that KSS are among those leading the way forward, in practice. Across our industry it is apparent that there is an urgent need for all project leaders, design and tech staff to familiarise themselves better with BIM generally and with PAS 1192 documentation, processes and terminology. There is also clearly much to be gained exploring the possibilities and productivity enhancements that computational design software can achieve, through products such as Dynamo. We did however feel more than ever the frustration that there is a real need for the ‘software ideas guys’ to recognise that our industry is crying out for both more standardisation and software that help pull together the procedures and processes into one application.

Is this possible? We shall see.

For more information: http://au.autodesk.com/london

Related articles