Live from Autodesk University 2017

Day 1: Advanced Computational Design with Dynamo

Nodes and lists and code blocks OH MY!

Day 1 at Autodesk University (AU) in Las Vegas kicked off with several computational BIM workshops. I headed to the advanced BIM session featuring Dynamo, an amazing tool that enables users to create custom routines, manipulate geometry and extract data from Revit.


During the workshop, Dynamo’s large user community shared how the tool’s open-source platform could be used for everything from practical design applications to extreme boundary-pushing workflows. The session’s keynote and panel speakers showcased real-world examples that were both educational and inspiring.

AU is definitely starting out on the right track! Much more to come over the next few days, so stay tuned!


Day 2: More | Better | Less

From the herd of people rushing to breakfast to the opening keynote and the infamous exhibit hall grand opening, AU 2017 was clearly in full swing today. Whether it’s your first or 25th time at AU, there is always something new to learn or explore. The in-depth classes, self-paced labs and idea exchange area offer a variety of ways to learn and share.

Opening Keynote: Andrew Anagnost, Autodesk CEO

Automation in design has been a central focus of the last several AU conferences. How are the advancements in robotics, computational design and cloud computing shaping the future of our industries and world around us? Anagnost suggested that instead of being fearful of what the future holds, we should look at the potential of what it can become.

For instance, he discussed automation’s permanence and how it enables us to accomplish more, with better results and by consuming less. We heard inspiring stories from customers such as Van Wijnen, a construction company that completely transformed its business through automation.

The overall message—look ahead to see how we can be part of the process.

More details are just over the horizon, so stay tuned!


Day 3: Looking Into the Future


VR/AR—Everybody’s Doing It!

It’s very obvious when perusing the course offerings or strolling around the exhibit hall that virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have a definite presence at AU this year. These technologies have been rapidly evolving in numerous industries—from building and product design to gaming, media and more! At Woolpert, we have seen the benefits of VR/AR during review meetings with clients and other consultants. But the question is, where is VR/AR going next?

Right now, there are obvious limitations to the tech, as well as considerable room for improvement. In my opinion, one of the biggest issues with VR is mobility. The systems we use are tethered to computers, which limit the user experience. The possible release of the Oculus Go in the next year could be a game changer when it comes to life-like VR experiences.

AR has some interesting potential, but as of now, the tech has a way to go to become a viable wearable technology. I see a future in which VR and AR are combined in a single device to provide a mixed-use application for a wider range of experience.

Idea Exchange

One great aspect of this year’s AU is the idea Exchange, which provides the opportunity to discuss software and application development directly with Autodesk experts. I sat down with one of the developers of ReCap and the BIM 360 platform to discuss the future. It is a great occasion to review the direction that Autodesk is headed and provide valuable feedback directly to the developers. Everyone has a voice and can get involved through Autodesk’s Community Forums.

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