Industry convergence and generative design take centre stage at construction conference
01 July 2019
A number of speakers at the recently held Autodesk University London conference discussed how the lines between construction and manufacturing are beginning to blur, while the future of work in the age of automation was also a widely discussed issue
The Autodesk University conference in London heard how according to the World Economic Forum, although automation will displace 75 million jobs by 2022, 133 million new roles will also be created — ultimately a net gain of 58 million jobs globally.
Some of the biggest and most impactful changes happening across industry were the central themes of the Autodesk University London conference, which was held recently. More than 2,000 industry professionals from more than 55 countries attended the event which, apart from keynotes, involved seminars, networking and hands-on experiences.
A number of speakers discussed how the lines between construction and manufacturing are beginning to blur, and some of the projects are outlined below. The future of work in the age of automation was also a widely discussed issue.
The skills gap is a global problem — there are millions of vacant roles that employers can’t fill, yet there are millions looking for work, Autodesk chief marketing officer Lisa Campbell told the conference.
She said that, according to the World Economic Forum, although automation will displace 75 million jobs by 2022, 133 million new roles will also be created — ultimately a net gain of 58 million jobs globally.
This means we’re more likely to face a shortage of skills than a shortage of jobs, she said. Workers will have to adapt to a more digitally sophisticated work environment. They will collaborate closer with machines to create better outcomes.
Artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and automation are frequently portrayed as the villain in this scenario — and it’s true — they do have the potential to exacerbate the problem if we are not deliberate in how we leverage automation to create more opportunity, not less, Campbell pointed out.
Industry convergence projects
1.) A mobile micro-factory from Howick: limited space and accessibility issues made it difficult to set up an efficient construction site for the renovation of the Travelodge hotel in Windsor. Builders found a solution in prefabrication and modular construction, which led to a number of benefits including time savings and reduction in waste.
2.) Scaled Robotics’space-sensing robots: the construction site is a tough environment for a robot, but by using the right 3D modelling and design software, Scaled Robotics has created an autonomous mobile robot capable of mapping the construction site 10 times faster than existing methods. The scans verify the point cloud models against the BIM model to allow construction site managers to have a better understanding of the project status and more accurate timelines for delivery.
3.) International construction firm MACE has worked on some of the most famous buildings on the London skyline— the Shard, Southbank Tower, and the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium. Now, it is carrying out work at London’s Olympic Park, building a double-tower development that will provide 480 new homes for Londoners.
4.) Engineering and construction company AECOM also graced the stage at AU London, describing how it is switching up processes to become more efficient and prepare for the new ways of designing and making buildings.
Generative design projects
1.) Starck’s AI-infused chair: French designer Philippe Starck partnered with artificial intelligence to reimagine furniture design,and came up with the AI Chair, the first mass-produced chair imagined by a human and co-created with generative design.
2.) JPL’s far-out space lander: a concept lander developed with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. A work of artful engineering, the prototype was created using generative design and three different manufacturing methods.
3.) Toronto’s future-forward workplace: in designing its new office and research space in the MaRS Innovation District of Toronto, generative design technology was used to create a workplace built around employees’ wellbeing. It is an example of how machine intelligence and human intelligence can work in concert to create better outcomes.
Autodesk University is also an online learning destination focused on software users, partners and industry leaders concerned with the future of design and engineering. More information is available here.
Autodesk set up its Dublin office last year. It began operations in the country in January 2018 and, a year later, celebrated the opening of its EMEA headquarters at 1 Windmill Lane, in the ‘SOBO’ district (south docklands – as in south of Beckett/O’Casey). It currently employs about 170 people.http://www.engineersjournal.ie/2019/07/01/industry-convergence-and-generative-design-take-centre-stage-at-construction-conference/http://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/a1-6-1024x682.pnghttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/a1-6-300x300.pngNewsAI,construction,manufacturing