Emerging Technologies and Industry Leaders Changing the Status Quo

02/28/2018 11:52 AM | Bill Hess for SCDF

Technology is influencing the world with everything from virtual reality to 3D printing. Emerging technologies are presenting progressive developments, providing competitive advantages and changing the status quo for the built environment and reshaping commercial real estate as we know it. At our Emerging Technology, over 175 industry leaders mobilized to discuss cutting edge technologies, how such technologies are being used in the industry and what the future of technology looks like.

The panel included a diverse group of experts, moderated by Stan Chiu, AIA, LEED AP, Principal at HGA. Speakers included Jose Sanchez, Professor at USC School of Architectureand Director of the Plethora Project; Erik Narhi, Computational Design Lead at BuroHappold Engineering; Paul Martin, Director of Engineering Sales at A. Zahner Company and Jen Hawkins, Product Development Manager at Digital Building Components.


Key takeaways from the event include:

  • Google Cardboard: Each table was given a pair of Google Cardboard glasses, allowing guests to explore various design models, such as Atlanta’s new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
  • Virtual Reality: Guests participated in an interactive VR activity at the end of the panel discussion, provided by BurroHapold.
  • Digital Fabrication: Hawkins discussed her work at Digital Building Components. She explained the digital fabrication process, which uses the coordinated model that has been developed with the design team and MEP trades to drive fabrication. The shop is currently producing cold-formed steel load bearing structures, exterior wall panels, and interior wall panels.
  • Crowdsourced Urbanism: Sanchez detailed his experience of creating Block’hood, an interactive city planning video game that allows users to explore the notions of crowdsourced urbanism.
  • Handling Challenges for Clients: Martin explained how his firm develops specific technologies to handle geometry and other challenges clients may face.
  • Bridging the Gap: Narhi gave an overview of how he bridges the gap between software engineering developments and AEC project workflows. He and his team harness data to visualize and predict how to design spaces so they perform the way they should.

We are grateful to our panelists, attendees, table sponsors (CorganHaworthPCL and Southland) and event sponsor, BuroHappold, for helping us make this event happen. 

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