Design Technology Summit

The Design Technology Summit (DTS) is an exclusive event that brings together professionals from large firms in the Architecture and Engineering (AE) design industry who have a responsibility for managing and implementing design technology.   Attendance at DTS is by invitation only and limited to 40 registrants. We feel that this number will better foster an atmosphere of active and meaningful discussions between everyone.  

Our Vision and Mission

Over the past twenty five years, the architecture, engineering and design professions have changed significantly.  Demands are greater.  Deliverables are more detailed.  Timelines are shorter.  There are increasing numbers of specialists involved in our projects, adding to the complexity of a deeper level of coordination, and requiring familiarity with a wider range of subject matter.


Historically, technology has assisted us incrementally with these challenges, but, as the pace of change increases, so must our willingness to evolve how we work, and the pace at which we do so.


We believe the AEC industry is poised for modernization.  The pressures and expectations placed on firms have reached a critical threshold.  Technology has successfully assisted other parties in the AECO team, and it has the capacity to assist us as well, in significant ways.


As practitioners and technologists, we have often been the ones called on to help our organizations find opportunities to modernize.  DTS brings us together to share our experiences and knowledge, and identify opportunities to improve.


Our Position Statements

As practitioners and technologists, we have often been the ones called on to help our organizations find opportunities to modernize.  DTS brings us together to share our experiences and knowledge, and identify opportunities to improve.  It is from this background- and in this spirit – that we offer five areas of consideration that can positively impact practice:  


Lightweight Interfaces 
Our future employees and even the youngest generation in practice now are acclimated to touch based, intuitive interfaces and applications that are generally geared to specific tasks or functions. These modern tools and user experiences must also be prepared to be used with display and interaction technology which only today is being explored, researched and experimented with. 


Full Adoption of Model Based Workflows 
The elimination of traditional documentation or processes (ie drawing based delivery and quantification) will not come overnight nor; do we expect that it will be easy. We do believe that there are many avenues that design and technology companies can increasingly explore that can help the industry move in the direction of a true model based design, delivery and construction workflow. 


 Knowledge Capture, Management & Dissemination Platform 
While there are a variety of platforms available for knowledge management we have yet to see the development of something that easily captures latent knowledge and provides useful, contextual information. While “web” technologies have streamlined access to information and knowledge, and videos make it easier to disseminate and consume, the reality is that knowledge capture and dissemination is still rooted in the same techniques that were used to write manuscripts and books. In the same way that more people are becoming comfortable with the concept of an AI assistant at home like Alexa or Google Assistant we need similar learning assistants in our workplaces. Intelligent assistants that can learn our routines and ingest our design and business data to provide useful feedback will be the next major shift in how knowledge is captured and managed. 


Technology for improved quality of life (of designers and end users) 
Often times it is easy for all of us, including technology companies, to focus on improving workflow and information exchange; while pains may be taken to ensure the user interface and experience are improved, those advancements do not necessarily translate to improvements in the users’ quality of life. We advocate greater emphasis on improving day-to-day experiences, either directly through a tool, or as a result of it. 


Application Behavior/Performance 
Design applications must provide fluid and dynamic performance for our end users. This includes taking advantage of advancements in processing power– for example, multi-threaded, multi-core Central Processing Units and Graphical Processing Units. And as mobile technologies become increasingly pervasive in the office and on the job-site, cloud storage and processing options should be at a minimum as reliable and robust as local or server based storage.