I’m on the train home after a whirlwind week in Las Vegas. Another great AU is “in the bag” and I’m looking forward to getting home to my family. But first a quick recap of the week…
I arrived on Saturday night, as usual, and managed to get a decent first night’s sleep. On Sunday I did a few things… I checked out the rooms I’d be presenting in during the week, which is always slightly surreal.
I wandered along the strip: they’d closed it off for the Rock N Roll Marathon, which apparently caused incredible havoc for those arriving on Sunday.
As usual I ended up shopping a little at the Fashion Show Mall.
And then saw some runners finishing the Marathon.
After dinner with the Forge team – and another night’s sleep under the belt – it was time for the pre-conference events to kick-off. I managed to attend the mainstage for Connect & Construct:
I popped by the Forge Village, where I was delighted to see my colleague, Simon Breslav, sitting on the wall.
My first session of the week was co-presenting with Lorenzo Villaggi, talking about the Van Wijnen project.
It was a genuine honour to be presenting with a colleague from The Living: they’re doing such cool stuff.
The aim of this class was to talk about the tool we created for Van Wijnen that was featured on last year’s AU mainstage.
Despite the fact the session was scheduled at the same time as the Forge DevCon keynote (it was part of Connect & Construct), it was well-attended with standing-room only.
After this 90-minute session I had a short break before presenting my own 60-minute session on “Skeletons, Robots and Streamlines” as part of the Forge DevCon.
Once this was completed I was happy to kick back over a drink and chat with old friends (such as Simon Yorke) at the welcome reception.
Sometime after that I ended up at an internal mixer for the MCP (Manufacturing, Construction and Production) team.
Yes, I suppose I was (strictly speaking) gatecrashing, but for me it was a great chance to catch up with my old Neuchatel colleague (who moved to SF when the office closed), Emanuele Dias.
On Tuesday the day started with the AU mainstage sandwiched between a few customer meetings on various topics. Andrew Anagnost kicked things off:
It was nice to see our CTO, Scott Borduin, taking the stage once again:
Erin Bradner, who heads up our AI and Robotics Lab in Pier 9, talked to us about a generative design colleaboration with NASA’s JPL:
After this it was time for my second solo class, this time talking about Getting Started with AEC (i.e. Project Refinery). Another good turn-out!
I didn’t get time to try them myself, but it was fun to see the various VR exhibits attracting long queues.
I had a fun discussion with some old friends: Denis, Oleg and I debated the relative merits and inconveniences of remote working.
The generatively designed lander that Erin had showcased was also on display in the Exhibit Hall.
My Wednesday – the one day I didn’t have any sessions to present – ended up filling up with customer briefings. I did find time to pop by the AEC mainstage event, though.
I also killed a spare half-hour in the Exhibit Hall, catching up with more old friends. Here’s a picture with the one-and-only Rob Oud, someone I’ve now known for 23 years.
It was also great to see my friends at CCTech, chatting about a number of cool tech topics.
Later on Lorenzo and I stopped by a suite in the Palazzo for an interview with Jacqueline Rohrmann, also known as That BIM Girl. You’ll hopefully see that show up soon on YouTube.
Wednesday evening was the last one in Vegas for many attendees, myself included. For me this started with a “robotics happy hour”, followed by the OCTO mixer where Shaan, Scott and I chewed the fat and compared blogging notes.
The main AU party was once again (the last time being 2 years ago) at The LINQ.
I ended up hanging out with Hali Larsen (who is the other main person working on Dasher besides Simon Breslav and myself) and our colleagues from The Living, Lorenzo, Danil Nagy and Ray Wang. Here we are just about to go on the big wheel.
By the time we came down the party had finished, so we headed on over to DynaNoche. Here’s a shot with Lorenzo and Jaqueline.
Dieter Vermeulen took a turn on the decks, at one point.
After a late finish, I got up, packed and checked out before heading to Reto Largo and Thomas Mueller’s sesion on NEST. It was nice to see them feature (and demo!) the integration with Dasher 360.
I popped back, once again, via the AU Exhibit Hall. Here’s a snap of some innovating flooring that has been developed at ETH Zurich by tge Block Research Group that significantly reduces the amount of concrete needed in flooring.
Lorenzo and I took our luggage with us for our last session at AU, a repeat of Monday’s session about the Van Wijnen project (this time squeezed into 60 minutes).
Once again it was very well attended – it’s clearly an interesting topic for people.
We headed straight to the airport afterwards, as we both had 5pm flights: Lorenzo’s to New York and mine to Zurich via Frankfurt. It was interesting flying with Condor Airlines: as an airline catering to holidaymakers they had some slightly strange concepts, such as charging for use of the entertainment system. Luckily I really needed to sleep, and did so for most of the way back.
I had a window seat on the connecting leg to Switzerland, and it was actually very nice to be able to look out of the window, for once.
As usual it was a fantastic week at Autodesk University. Thanks to all who took the time to say hello and introdcuce themselves: it was a genuine pleasure to meet so many new people (and old friends, of course!). It’s always super-motivating to hear about the cool things people are doing with Autodesk technology.
(Photo credits: myself, Lorenzo Villaggi, Thord Backe, Ben Muller, Marcel Ludwig.)