Autodesk University 2018 Review. Part 2 – 3 Class Recommendations

As promised – part two of my AU2018 review – 3 Class Recommendation. See Part 1 – Impressions here.

As I mentioned the sheer number of classes available was overwhelming and while I do believe the three below are outstanding, it seems too wild to me to call them “top 3”, since I only saw a tiny selection of the classes available. So here they are as the three girlfriends we have all had –

  1. The Reliable Date – Standards

It was very interesting to hear about BIM Standards in the US by Johnny Fortune in his Building your BIM Standards class. I must say, seeing how many different documents there are in the US defining BIM standards, I will not tolerate people not having read the PAS 1192 suit ever again! Unfortunately, the talk did not address the ISO 19650. An interesting aspect of the way standards seem to be written and published in the US is their intended audience – there are a documents specifically aimed to the users, the designers etc. – with the obvious caveat that I have not read or applied any of those, this initially strike me as a great idea – well the clients will finally read something, if there’s their name on it – but upon further thought, why would you want to give the different players different rulebooks to play with? I would love to hear more about these aspects of American standards from professionals that have worked with them. The class was very well structured and easy to follow – would highly recommend. It did look at a more corporate situation of business, larger scale operations etc., as, actually, was most of the conference. While there were so many valuable takes from the week, a lot of the angles of the lectures were from a scale very different to the one in the UK. Even though we do projects very comparable in size, the UK ACE business as a whole seems to like its smaller scale, and this immediately reflects on the implementation of standards.

  1. The Pixie Dream Girl – Dynamo

This year at Autodesk University there were over 70 classes dedicated to Dynamo. Alas, I was not able to go to all of them, and from all the ones I went to it was difficult to pick my favourite one.

The classes varied from very easy tools to start your automation journey with to quite complex experimentation in visual programming; there was also a very sizable contingent of classes that were telling stories about using Dynamo so that architects can keep not using Revit properly. While those were indisputably clever endeavours, and I do agree that “the best tool for the job is the tool that a designer is the most skilled in”, I think it is important to think long-term about those things – great, we have come up with several complicated but working workflows to translate things from other software into Revit, but is that what you want to teach the young staff coming in with no experience, if you can just teach them to use Revit and Dynamo on their own to achieve the same results?

If you are at the start of your beautiful friendship with Dynamo, I would highly recommend looking into automatization for project documentation – this is something that will be relevant for any stage of the project and will rarely require cleaning the data, which proves to be the most confusing thing for newbies.

Which leads me to one of my favourite classes – Marjan Sadeghi showed us her FM perspective and some excellent Dynamo tools she had developed to clean the models and data she has received from construction design teams so that she was able to successfully use them in FM software. With Marjan’s background being as rich and diverse as it is, she brought a beautifully intelligent approach to converting information to the FM process. So often we find that the BIM process becomes crippled due to the lack of connection with that last node – the FM, and what Marjan showed us was, well some may say I am exaggerating, but at least a promise for that BIM singularity we are all so longing for

  1. The Ex – Healthcare BIM

I was committed to doing Dynamo and Standardisation classes only in this intense week of learning, but I couldn’t help myself and slid a cheeky healthcare case study in between them. My love affair with Healthcare design is what brought me to BIM, and I do always keep an eye out for a hospital project I can dip in. I’ve always maintained that Healthcare architecture is one of the most fertile soils for BIM, it has been so for me at least. When trying to compare projects, as this class did, this shows even better. The materials provided were an excellent collation of case studies with data and very interesting comparisons. If you are about to embark on a new healthcare project – this class by Jacques Levy-Bencheton and Julien Drouet is a must!

Those were my highlights, but a large amount of the AU2018 classes were recorded, and if you are interested you can stream or download them along with materials (sometimes including tools you can immediately use) from the AU website. Additionally, the Winners of the Speaker Awards have just been announced, with our very good friend Sol Amour getting an honourable mention, those are always a good guide to what to look into.



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