On Tuesday night my daughter and I headed to Geneva to hop on a plane to Amsterdam Schipol.
We were quite lucky with our arrival: we were able to get out of the airport and onto a train to Delft within 20 minutes.
On arriving in Delft we headed to our Airbnb, managing to avoid being hit by bicycles. We came across some interesting structural work being down on a nearby bridge.
After dropping our bags, we headed out for dinner with my old friend Pete Storey, who kindly popped over from Utrecht to meet us for a bite and a chat.
Some of you may remember that Pete and I worked closely together on the Dar Smart Bridge project: something we’ll be presenting about at AU 2023.
We woke up bright and early to head across to TU Delft’s faculty of architecture. I had totally misjudged the weather: luckily we’d brought an umbrella – and my daughter was smart enough to bring her own rain jacket – so we were more than a little soggy by the time we arrived.
The room was slow to fill up – the weather had a big impact on some people’s travel plans – at least during the introductions.
Michela Turin and the rest of the committee have worked very hard to make this event happen, the 20th annual CAAD Futures conference.
Autodesk is proud to be listed as a sponsor for this year’s CAAD Futures event.
I had my mugshot show up briefly as the keynotes and panelists were mentioned.
The paper sessions then started in earnest: I enjoyed hearing about some work on volumetric sub-division, including a case study on “marching 3d shapes”.
Several presenters joined remotely, which worked quite seamlessly.
I met a few people in-person that I’d previously only been connected to online. This is Alex Walzer, who recently moved across from Zurich to Delft.
I’ve spoken a number of times in the past with Davide Schaumann, a long-time collaborator with Autodesk Research.
After lunch there was the first keynote in the orange hall.
This is such a great space for a large talk, despite the high wind posing some challenges with the external blind system (and therefore the screen visibility).
John Gero – a hero of the architectural design community – gave a fascinating talk about the brain of a designer.
During the afternoon I popped back to the flat to take a couple of meetings and to change for the evening’s talks. These kicked off with another great keynote by Alessandro Bozzon, whose lab at TU Delft is doing some really interesting work that aligns closely with our own efforts.
It’s quite something having everyone sitting up in the stands.
The day ended with talks from five panellists. First was Michela Magas:
Followed by Cristiano Ceccato from Zaha Hadid Architects:
Matthew Vola from Arup talked about a number of projects, including one that’s dear to my heart (the MX3D bridge):
I was next, and talked about some of the work we’ve done relating to human-centric building design:
And the last talk of the day was by Thomas Krall from Superworld:
By the time we’d finished it was already 9:15pm (a long day!), but we did have time for a very quick panel discussion.
After everything was done, Leon van Berlo from buildingSMART came up to me for a chat. He’d kindly chosen to come across to Delft for the event so we could meet in person. Thanks for making the trip, Leon!
All in all the first day at CAAD Futures was fantastic. It was a long day – we’d started at 8:15am and had gone through to after 9:30pm – but it was great to engage with so many passionate folk from the architectural design technology community. I’m looking forward the workshop day on Thursday!