Finally, the big night! Most presenters will be finished with their classes by tonight and the main event this year features the return of comedian Don MacMillan and a special performance by the world renowned Blue Man Group.
8:00 AM - Revit Rocks: Tips from Around the World
Rich Taylor, an Autodesk Customer Success Engineer for Revit, gave an excellent presentation on some common, but sometimes obscure tips in Revit he has picked up from working with customers across the globe. He demonstrated the [unsupported] use of journal files to generate rooms in the Room Schedule and another technique using room separation lines to create spatial bubble diagrams - then moving each 'bubble' into an actual room and deleting the room-sep lines. The room then 'inherits' its new space! He demonstrated a house configurator which was similar to the one shown in "Expanding BIM" with Emile Kfouri.
10:00 AM - The JamesVan show, Part 2: Effective Collaboration
My second and final presentation was Effective Collaboration with Revit, DWG and DWF. The challenge with this clas? Background jazz being pumped into the house system! Lent to a nice, mellow mood - but was quite a distraction when trying to concentrate on your presentation. My esteemed colleagues Chuck Mies (Autodesk) and Wes Benn (Benn Design - Australia) joined me for this class, exploring real-world scenarios of data collaboration. First looking at the interaction between Revit and Autocad using DWG imports and exports, then a quick review of DWF output and markup using Design Review. Finally, Chuck and I donned the A/E hats and performed a live coordination demonstration between Revit Building, Structure and Systems. That was fun, but we seemed to be running out of time. Next year, I'll probably divide the content into two classes - Revit/2D collaboration and Revit-Revit.
11:30 AM - Building Industry Roundtable: Enabling Process Improvement with BIM
Once again, I found myself running to another function during lunch. This one had the potential of being an informative gathering as a select group of professionals were invited to a private luncheon. First, the logistics weren't the greatest - a propped-up 'corral' at the far end of the dining hall. We were at the mercy of 8,000 people enjoying their lunch, but we had a microphone! Jim Balding and Mario Guttman hosted the event and cycled through some of the hot topics around BIM implementation in the AE community. We shared our experiences, but didn't really propose any action items.
1:00 PM - Revit Detailing
One of my favorite classes is Scott Davis' presentation on Detailing in Revit...and as Scott just pointed out, it was taught by Paul Aubin this year! (Oops) Unfortunately, I fell victim to scope creep once again and missed Paul's class, but I'll be sure to catch the rerun on AU Online! Wound up having a detailed conversation with our Digital Design Director - Paul Seletsky and Andrew Arnold from Tectonic Network about their future products.
3:00 PM - Beyond Revit: Where's This All Going?
Good question. Kudos to Jim Balding for putting this presentation together without much prepared content. It was an open discussion about the future of BIM - risks and rewards, opportunities and challenges. Jim seeded the discussion with some provocative thoughts..."Death of the Architect?"
5:00 PM - Designing Sustainable Building Solutions with Revit
This class was not about using Revit for designing sustainable building solutions. Huh? Yes, in my opinion it deserved a different title such as "Revit's Potential to Impact Sustainable Building Solutions" which might be generous. So why did I stay? I'm an avid supporter of environmental awareness and sustainability and Ken Hall delivered one of the best-prepared and thought-provoking lectures this week. Some call his tactics harsh, but sometimes we have to shake people up. For just a sampling of information, check out these links: Autodesk Sustainability Center, The Long Now Foundation, design:e2, and Architecture2030.
6:30 PM - Dinner and TWO shows!
Some light food and lighted entertainment. While we dined and (as my Mother says) "hob-nobbed with the goober-smoochers," we were entertained by a troop of fiber-optic-entwined roller skaters and jump-ropers - very cool. Then it was up to the main ballroom for comedian Don McMillan. What can I say? I almost passed out from laughing so hard. Be sure to visit Don's website to understand what I'm talking about. Finally, the Blue Man Group gave an outstanding performance for the exhausted AU crowd. I especially liked the "How to be a Rock Star" tutorial.
The Interlude - Thursday to Friday
Legend has it that the best partying occurs through the night from Thursday into Friday and you're advised to just stay awake or you run the risk of being an hour late for your Friday morning class...particularly painful if you're the PRESENTER. You know who you are.
8:00 AM Friday - Advanced Revit Techniques
Ah, Phil Read...he's the man. You're not going to get a better class for a 3 hour, Friday morning, post-party lecture. Easy-going, engaging, witty - I could go on. Greg Demchak and Lilli Smith had end-of-week duty last year and this year Phil brought some cool new tips. Pleated curtain wall panels, using Room Name in a key schedule, the famous void-driven geometry, reference line tricks with blends and exploded axon project views.