DTS 2018: AI, People Management and Challenging Practice Norms

As I sit down to write this blog post, it’s hard to believe that it is the last post I’ll write before DTS 2018 kicks off in St. Louis on August 7th! I’m very excited about our program this year, the committee has spent our last few meetings discussing how we will run the discussions and in if our own internal conversations are any measure this year’s discussions should be particularly fruitful and interesting. We are working hard to build on the energy of last year and push the envelope to establish the gaps facing our Design Practices in terms of how the practice of design must engage the 21st Century, its more than BIM, that much is for sure, it’s about restructuring our practice and thinking hard about where do we need to be prepared to go. 

 

For example, for too long the conversation has been focused on making our practices more efficient, without really challenging practice norms. How can technology help improve the lives of our design staff, efficiency does not necessarily equate to an improvement of the lives and careers of our users. Nor does technology alone force us to reconsider how we capture and disseminate knowledge, yet technologies like machine learning, artificial intelligence and “generative design” (what exactly is that) are going to force us to adapt, if not we quite literally may find ourselves and our staff out of a job. To take it a step further, what if you asked a Principal, and Project Manager and an Intern “what should AI do for you in your job” you’re likely to get some quite varied answers; but all the answers likely presume that person still has a job. On top of that, the answers from each are more likely to indicate negative consequences for the “other” person’s job. How do we help to meld all these different opinions together into a consensus that not only helps our firms be successful, but helps to establish criteria by which technology companies can design and develop solutions towards? 

 

We need to understand these coming technologies and their impact on our businesses so that know how our roles adapt and how the roles of our practitioners adapt. 

 

If all of this sounds interesting please consider joining us at DTS 2018, we still have open slots available and we would love to have you. 

 

Author: Robert Manna

Stantec Inc.

Robert works for Stantec out of their Boston MA office. As a member of the Buildings Group Digital practice team Robert is a key leader in the adoption, implementation and support of new processes and technology throughout the organization. Currently his key responsibilities include: management of custom software development, management of the migration and integration of Design Technology for individual acquisitions, interactions with key technology vendors, liaison with the IT group for configuration and deployment of software and collaboration technologies as well keeping pace with general technology trends and future tech. In the past Robert has worked on a variety of building design projects of various scales and at all stages. He has also spoken at a number of events and conferences over the years, including Autodesk University RTC NA & EUR (now BILT), BIMforum in addition he writes from time to time for various blogs and publications. When not running around the globe and helping teams he enjoys his family (wife, daughter, son) and particularly likes to ski, swim and bike.

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