NXT BLD Virtual 2020 comprises of six 90 minute conference sessions that can now be viewed on-demand, along with a Q&A.

Registration is completely FREE.

Registered delegates can access the on-demand conference here.

Session 1

Session theme - Generative Design / Robotics

Automating Architecture
Mollie Claypool // Automated Architecture + The Bartlett School of Architecture
Automated Architecture (AUAR) co-director Mollie Claypool discusses recent work of AUAR’s design and tech practice and research laboratory. AUAR’s work radically rethinks the barriers of privilege, money and power in the housing system by creating opportunities for wider groups of stakeholders to get hands-on with new forms of architecture and housing utilising automation. Our most recent project Block West, a collaboration with citizen-led digital arts organisation Knowle West Media Centre and funded by Transforming Construction Network Plus, takes values-centred approach to collaboration with local communities using modular methods of construction and democratising technology so communities are empowered to create the homes they need better and faster.
Architecture & Robotic Fabrication: Design-Through-Collaboration
Elif Erdine // Architectural Association
This talk will discuss the ever-growing role of architectural production technologies in the built environment, particularly robotic fabrication in architecture and design processes. The ongoing research of Emergent Technologies & Design (EmTech) Post-Graduate Programme at the Architectural Association (AA) London focuses on the evolution of traditional fabrication technologies through the employment of digital fabrication, with an emphasis on robotic production paradigms. The presented case studies are going to expand on the significance of collaboration with the industry. Through our collaborations with BuroHappold Engineering, one of the pioneering firms in engineering consultancy, and Fibrobeton, experts in Glass Reinforced Concrete (GRC) shotcrete technology, innovative computational and fabrication workflows have been developed, integrating free-form design, robotic fabrication, fabrication and assembly tolerances. The prototypes that have been realised through these collaborations serve as proof of concepts into how academia and practice can work together for sustainable design solutions.
Roboticore - Exploring human-robot interaction
Fernando Garcia Blanco // Foster + Partners & Elena Casini // MOST Architecture
How will humans and robots interact in our living environment? How will this relationship succeed in a daily routine that simplifies all the aspects of our everyday life?

Roboticore is a thesis, an exercise of imagination of how the building of the future will be. With the irruption of the robots in the industry and the development of machine learning, Roboticore rethinks the architecture from the site-management to the construction, until the maintenance of the building, shaping the design to allow the robots to build, maintain and learn, coexisting with us, human beings, in a “”natural”” environment.

But how do we communicate with robots? BIM is the language, the digitalization of every single piece of the building and its relationship with its environment will be the starting point of this challenge, and what BIM 9D can be.

If the next step of our evolution is AI, we must start to think about how to design spaces, to allow humans and robots to live together

Interactive Q & A with presenters

Session 2

Session theme - Conceptual / Collaborative Design

Data-Driven Design – An Unrealised Opportunity
Nate Miller // Proving Ground
Today, the building process is slow, expensive, and risky. Meanwhile, the availability of data gives designers and builders the ability to deliver innovative solutions with unparalleled speed, performance, and certainty. After nearly 18 years of creating buildings using building information modelling, many of the opportunities for implementing data-driven processes have largely gone unrealized. In his lecture, Nate Miller will discuss simple and accessible data-driven workflows that build on the existing ecosystem of popular CAD and BIM tools. Nate will discuss how technology – in parallel with change management and healthy business practices – can equip AEC businesses to take advantage of their data for designing a better built world.
Giving designers superpowers
Hilmar Gunnarsson & Johan Hanegraaf // Arkio + Ernesto Pacheco // CannonDesign
Our goal is to simplify the architectural design process. We want to give designers superpowers, to enable them to come up with better designs faster and to work with other people in a more intuitive way than possible before. Using Arkio designers can easily get together in a shared design workspace using VR headsets, PCs, tablets and phones to collaboratively explore and sketch new design ideas or present design options. Arkio integrates seamlessly into the design workflow, enabling users to import a Revit model, brainstorm new design ideas, then export back to Revit native geometry to continue the work.

In our session at NXTBLD last year we showed Arkio to the world for the very first time. Since then we’ve received a lot of valuable feedback from our beta users and have added a number of exciting new features. In this talk we will demonstrate the many advantages of using a collaborative design tool like Arkio to augment and speed up the current design process and showcase how design teams have used Arkio to stay connected and get work done with their clients even while working remotely.

The Future of Drawing
Julie Dorsey // Mental Canvas
From Leonardo’s anatomic drawings to Frank Gehry’s conceptual drawings to movie storyboards, drawing is basic to exploring new ideas, communicating new concepts, creating new knowledge, and designing new products. Computer technology has revolutionized text, photography, and music, but drawing has largely remained unchanged. Today’s digital illustration packages merely simulate drawing on paper, while adding a few new capabilities, such as panning, zooming and the ability to transmit digitally. These packages do not, however, accelerate the drawing process or enhance a drawing’s value as a communication tool. In this talk, I will introduce the Mental Canvas platform. Similar to what the word processor has done for text or Photoshop has done for photography, Mental Canvas reimagines drawing, imbuing it with entirely new capabilities and bringing it fully into the digital age.
Interactive Q & A with presenters

Session 3

Session theme - Digital Fabrication and 3D Printing

Bridging the gap between BIM and the supply chain
Bruce Bell // Facit Homes
BIM has transformed architecture and building design. However, despite enabling designs to be digital, complicated and accurate, it still lacks the basic infrastructure to take this to the next level. Building on the experience of founding and running digital home manufacturer, Facit Homes, Bruce’s next project is creating a framework that allows organisations and individuals to make the link between the products in their designs and the suppliers. Offering manufacturers the opportunity for an ‘online shop’ or virtual catalogue, it will ensure that all product data is validated to accurately match the supplier information.

Bruce will touch on how this process would work for architects, manufacturers and contractors, as well as the client. His presentation will explain the philosophy of this solution, which is to allow multiple organisations to use a more accurate BIM-to-manufacture process and connect with suppliers more readily.

Digital Manufacturing in Construction
Mark Taylor // Royal BAM Group
A run through the typical manufacturing approaches being applied by a main contractor and the latest developments in additive manufacturing
Will shotcrete save the world - or at least construction?
Alexander Türk // Aeditive
CEO & Co-Founder of Hamburg-based startup Aeditive, Alexander Türk, shares his thoughts on the “why” of construction, on what he learned during his first year in the industry, and on Aeditive’s journey as a young technology provider to construction. With its Concrete Aeditor, a shotcrete-based 3D printer for concrete elements, Aeditive addresses the challenges of productivity, sustainability, design & functionality, and speed – some of the most pressing ones the construction industry will face in the decades to come.
Interactive Q & A with presenters

Session 4

Session theme - Digital Construction / IT for advanced AEC workflows

From Parametric Architecture to Digital Construction
Tal Friedman // Tal Friedman Architecture & Design
The age of industry 4.0 promises to lead way to a new age of connectivity between matter and information, changing not only the way we design but also how we build.

Advancements of digital design tools have drastically changed the AEC industry in recent years and have led to new movements reshaping our future cities. However, as ‘starchitect’ projects are springing up worldwide and filling up front pages, the mainstream construction world has remained barely untouched in the last 50 years, comprising of manual labour and low tech methods.

As more and more repetitive boxes are filling up our skylines, the key to solving the missing link between advanced fabrication and digital design has to do with the democratisation of data and interdisciplinary integration.

The digital revolution we have started can not remain a software feature but must evolve to inherently change the building itself as an end product.

So how can we use AI algorithms, robotics and use new technologies to bring down costs of advanced manufacturing, create iconic architectural designs and improve energy efficiency of buildings? It is time to re-examine our very basic axioms of construction and blur the boundaries between the designer, the software and the machine.

Navigate the Path Ahead with Real-World Industry Feedback
Chris Ruffo, Mike Leach & Scott Ruppert // Lenovo Workstations
Join us as we delve into some of the top trends and technologies influencing how those within the AEC industry work today and into the future. We’ll cover advances within simulation and digital fabrication, real time rendering, AI, IoT and more to show how technology is evolving and becoming more tangible. Learn what pain points and challenges professional users are experiencing as we share insights we’ve collected from customer feedback during the global pandemic. Gain greater insight for how the current climate has changed the way we work and obstacles companies are looking to overcome. Looking ahead, discover some of the solutions and options to smooth the path forward and increase remote collaboration and production.
Groundbreaking Hardware Developments that Enable Leading Edge AEC Workflows
Michael Katz and Rob Jamieson // AMD
Next generation software workflows such as reality capture, real-time visualization, generative design, and simulation offer huge leaps in capability and productivity, but also require a tremendous amount of compute. With the introduction of the AMD Ryzen™ Threadripper™ PRO users are able to deploy workstations that excel with today’s mainstream software and offer the ability to tackle the intensive workloads of the future without resorting to the data center for compute. In this session, AMD shares the features and capabilities of the most powerful professional workstation in the world, and the work done with key AEC software partners to harness this power to tackle the most difficult problems.
Interactive Q & A with presenters

Session 5

Session theme - Real time viz / VR / AR

How VR Helped Us Design a Theatre From the Inside Out
Alex Coulombe // Agile Lens
Since the release of the Oculus Rift DK1 in 2013, many have come to understand the valuable role virtual reality can play for visualizing architecture, but case studies of actively utilizing VR throughout the design process, and iterating on that design from within VR, are few and far between. In this talk, Alex Coulombe examines a project that’s done just that: the Brockman Hall for Opera, due to open later this year. Agile Lens in partnership with Fisher Dachs Associates and architect Allan Greenberg began using VR in the earliest stages of design back in 2015 to explore large scale design moves, refining and comparing a myriad of options in real-time. When nearing design completion the VR model became increasingly sophisticated, populating the theatre with a virtual audience, performers, set designs, and increasingly subtle decisions about lighting and colour were explored.
Overcoming Collaboration Challenges in Architectural Design
Andrew Rink // NVIDIA
Collaboration during design has been a long-term challenge for all industries. AEC is no exception, with project teams typically remotely located and encompassing a wide array of disciplines using diverse software applications, which further complicates communication and fast decision-making. Emerging technologies are poised to transform how architectural design teams work together. In this session, NVIDIA describes an innovative development underway that will help AEC firms improve collaboration, accurately simulate virtual buildings, and help keep project teams on track.
Real-time Transformation of AEC
Ken Pimentel // Epic Games

Presentation content coming soon
Interactive Q & A with presenters

Session 6

Session theme - Future Digital Design Workflows

Panel discussion: the tipping point for the next generation of digital design workflows.
The Open Letter to Autodesk group - several leading architectural practices
Iain Godwin, Nick Dunn (PRP), Aaron Perry (Allford Hall Monaghan Morris), Dave Moyes (SimpsonHaugh), Kevin Fielding (Sheppard Robson Architects) and others from the vocal group of architectural practices, who wrote that infamous letter to Autodesk’s CEO, will be discussing what they’d like to see — and what the industry needs — from future design technologies.
Interactive Q & A with presenters

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