This past June, TECH+ returned to Los Angeles in-person for the first time since early 2020. The world has changed significantly since 2020, yet nonetheless, AEC technologies continue to evolve, becoming more established in the practices of firms big and small and offering new solutions to age-old problems.
The AEC technology community, comprised of designers, engineers, creative technologists and tool makers, came together to discuss, demonstrate, and celebrate new technological advancements.
During the event, attendees learned about creating as-built drawings using an iPhone camera, Imaginit’s innovative use of automation to manage complex data sets, as well as the implementation of machine learning and AI models to streamline processes at large firms from digital practice leaders Alloy Kemp and Sila Gulgec from Thornton Tomasetti and Thomas Kearns from Perkins&Will.
Kathleen Hetrick, sustainability engineer at Buro Happold, and Laura Karnath, senior enclosure technical designer at Walter P. Moore, stirred up the crowd with a discussion of embodied carbon tools and the imperative to measure and account for our climate impacts as designers of the built environment.
During the Investor Insights roundtable, venture capitalists came together to discuss the world of startups: how new technologies are financed, as well as the application of automation and new tech platforms to the construction industry.
Thesla Collier, Gensler Los Angeles’s design technology manager, and Cesar Escalante, a BIM instructor at Academy of Art University and member of the AIA Technology in Architectural Practice (TAP) leadership council, provided in-depth expertise related to digital-twin modeling and showed off Autodesk’s newest tools.
The final segments of the day celebrated the breadth of creativity and experimentation taking place within the field of computer-aided design.
USC’s Architecture program was on full display, with a Pecha-Kucha style showcase of faculty and student work ranging from generative design to AR and VR experiences.
Alvin Huang, Associate Professor at USC’s School of Architecture told AN, “The advancement of architecture has always been informed by technological advances in the world around us. In today’s rapidly evolving society, technological shifts have never occurred faster and with more impact. TECH+ is a fantastic platform and amazing community for the AEC industry to share, discover, and learn from the cutting edge technological research that is currently taking place in both architectural practice and academia and advancing our discipline.”
Similarly, the Women in Technology roundtable dazzled the audience with computational design wizardry and thought provoking research presented through a variety of work. This ranged from Julia Korner’s fashion design, which is pushing the limits and capabilities of 3D printing to Lucia Tahan’s work with Apple to develop the capabilities of the Vision Pro mixed reality, and so much more.
The day was rounded out by a short talk by innovative AI artist Hassan Ragab whose use of Midjourney to explore design through a cultural lens is producing some of the most beautiful and thoughtful design experiments.
TECH+ will coming to New York City on October 27. You can find more information about the event here.