02-04 March 2021 / ExCeL, London
Tue & Wed 10:00 – 18:00, Thu 10:00 – 16:00

Speaker preview: Jaimie Johnston

25 Feb 2020

Speaker preview: Jaimie Johnston

Speaker preview: Jaimie Johnston

“Who is the designer in the world of automation?"

While many are still grappling with the realities of BIM, others in the industry are already incorporating mixed reality, algorithmic design and generative design into their workflows. This increasing disparity is likely to continue as the adoption of modern methods of construction accelerates the shift towards a technology and manufacture-led sector

As the sophistication of the delivery process increases, the nature of the digital tools must also adapt to support it.

This is what led Bryden Wood to develop two free to use, web-based, open source digital configurators last year: PRISM  (for housing) and SEISMIC  (for schools). Both are built on design rules derived from analysis of thousands of existing apartments (in the case of PRISM) and a detailed study of Department for Education space standards and adjacencies (in the case of SEISMIC). Both dramatically reduce the time taken to create a viable scheme, allowing designers to try and test many more ideas.

We have also created algorithmic design tools for linear infrastructure - the Smart Motorways REM (Rapid Engineering Model) for Highways England and R:AID (Rail Automated Infrastructure Design) for Network Rail.

We expect that this is just the start of a journey; beginning with those assets that are already relatively ‘rules based’ – and the same principles could eventually be applied to offices, healthcare and other sectors.

Over time we anticipate that the buildings and infrastructure tools will mere to create a new design ecosystem; more and more design will be evidence-based, deriving from configuration, analysis and simulation and eventually machine learning and generative design.

While this is an exciting prospect, we will have to think differently about the process of design and the skillset that our designers require. It will also shift the value proposition; designers will be judged on outcomes and evidence, not deliverables and hours billed.

This session will explain the progress to date, and tackle some of the questions this new approach raises, including:

  • What is the role of the designer when algorithms can create more design options, better and faster than any design team?
  • What is the value proposition when design takes seconds, not months?
  • Will these changes result in poor design?
  • What skills do our future designers need – and where will they get them?
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