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…