Monday, 9 March 2015


I promised myself that when I have hit over 100 post I would write a blog post about future things that might happen to the AEC world. Basically it's a note to myself so I can re-read in a couple of years and laugh about it. Regarding Autodesk I am under a strict NDA. Nothing I will write down will violate this. If I do some prediction that might coincide with plans than that has happened unknowingly.  

I got inspired to write this post by all kind of other future predictions. You probably know them. Quotes like:

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
- Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943

What I see what might happen the coming years.

The first Companies will stop making drawings from models. A lot of time is spent on making drawings from models to communicate so someone else can make 3D from this 2D drawing. 

Smarter devices will enter the building site as a replacement for paper prints. (The heresy) They are already out there but they have yet to replace paper prints. I could see a device like an e-reader, but bigger, maybe even flexible replacing paper. What would be the benefits of those? Dimensioning / annotating of a view would not be done by a draftsmen. The person installing/building will have a preference file with what kind of measurements are useful to him. For example. Someone installing a duct will automatically get the measurements from the underside of a concrete slab to the top of the duct. By clicking on a thing he'll see the properties that are useful for him. An extra section to see something? Three clicks.

Another device that might enter will be some sort of holovisor or google glass thing. What will that do? It will overlay the 3D model over the progressing building. Benefits? You will see the part you have to build and the parts that will come after you. It will also work to capture the as built and compare it to the designed model. This would hopefully facilitate coordination of other installations to come after.  I don't think that every builder will get one but maybe a person will run around with it. Maybe people will get an app on there phone with which they will be able to point to a part of the building and they will see the 3D model asn an overlay

People will stop saying BIM model....
People might start talking about an information model. 

Computational Design will grow big and will make designs suffer from fewer changes. (perhaps this is more a wish) 3D printing will change the design language of architects. Computational Design will prove their design goals. (I can already feel architects wanting to drink my blood by suggesting that computers are going to take over design. They are not! It's just a tool to help you, you will remain the aesthetic judge)

Another thing that might happen  is the widening of the technology gap. Companies that are tech savy and companies that are lagging behind. For them I like a quote  from Deming:  (I found out that the quote was slightly different than popular culture has you believe it is.)

“Survival is optional.  No one has to change.” 

or "You do not have to change, survival isn't mandatory" 

and every time I see, read or say it myself I wonder what future developments will make me struggle to keep up...

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