Autodesk University (AU) Middle East returned for its seventh edition, welcoming over 700 architects, designers, engineers and the next generation of technology leaders across the region to experience the Future of Making. The two-day event showcased some of the world’s most advanced projects using world-class emerging technologies within the architecture, engineering and construction space.
“The Middle East is going through a revolutionary economic and technological transformation. The region is opening itself to new ideas to explore innovative technologies and prepare itself for future as it fulfils the various national economic diversification goals. The appetite for excellence coupled with rising population and upcoming events like the EXPO 2020 make the Middle East ripe for massive technology adoption and disruption. As a result, industry players across all sectors – especially construction - must ensure a smooth and proactive transition to latest technologies that facilitate the realisation of economic goals of countries in the region,” said Walter Dopplmair, vice president at Autodesk.
This year, AU Middle East’s theme is centred around the ‘Future of Making’, driven by its overarching philosophy of ‘building more, better, with less’. Throughout the event, attendees saw how their peers are using emerging technologies like generative design, augmented and virtual reality, robotics and additive manufacturing, and received insights into how these technologies are shaping a new future for the construction industry.
The event revealed some of the most intriguing partnerships undertaken by Autodesk. The company recently signed a partnership with Virgin Hyperloop One to explore ways to optimise hyperloop routing and operations - in a way that not only propels the hyperloop industry forward, but also has ancillary benefits to more traditional forms of transportation such as railway and highway route optimisation. Hyperloop technology is being tested across the world including in the UAE and is expected to reach speeds of 1000km/h through magnetic levitation and electric propulsion.
Autodesk is also partnering with American construction company Skystone, to build the world’s tallest modular Marriott Hotel. The tower will be pre-fabricated off-site and transported to the site and put together, bringing tremendous waste reduction and eliminating onsite pollution due to construction activity.
At home, in the UAE, construction firm Parsons has used Autodesk tools to implement AI-backed city master planning to optimise the Al Reem residential project. The mixed-use development project encompasses generative design with community living to optimise design for residents and visitors.
Attendees also had the opportunity to explore the Autodesk Gallery to observe stories of exceptional design and engineering from across the globe that gave an in-depth look as to how Autodesk has helped talented individuals imagine, design, and make a better world. In addition, Autodesk showcased how VR and real-time technologies are bringing architectural designs to life all while exploring insights in the Gulf region on the value of BIM, and what factors are holding back entities from adopting it.
On the second day of the event, Ramtin Attar, head of Technology Pathfinding and Strategic Relations at Autodesk, enlightened visitors with the perceived futuristic ideas that are currently being possible using Autodesk’s tools and ways in which the GCC can use them for economic development.
“Effective adoption of technology requires solutions the merging of ideas with function to deliver solutions that are viable in terms of cost and offer tangible benefits to all stakeholders – business, government or the consumer. We have seen this approach bears fruit for the construction industry through improved design, higher quality as well as with improvements in productivity and efficiency. With projects in modular design, transport optimization, AI, the Middle East can address an insatiable demand for innovative solutions. Autodesk is ideally placed to meet these changing demands for infrastructure and services,” Dopplmair concluded.