Sunday, 12 May 2013

Women and Architecture and technology... Where are we?!

I was surprised to see some very interesting facts on the number of women in BIM related professions and having just returned from the event 'Meet the BIM experts' in Dublin I felt it relevant to share my thoughts on this.

I was the only female on the panel in Dublin but this was not a first. I was the only female Gunslinger in Boston last year and I've noticed only or two female speakers in events such as RTC in both Austrlia and Europe and indeed other construction related events also throughout the year.

The following article touches on some of these points well and again it concerns me that most women are leaving the field to find other more accepted and ultimately more encouraging roles. 

I am passionate about this topic. We are not here to rave feminist antics or try to change an already evolving industry. It is about acknowledging a different approach. Modern business's, communication methods, strengths and indeed flaws and based somewhat on gender and we need to ensure there is an open voice and idea out there still encouraging young and clever women to enter the industry. 

The facts are that as much as things are much smoother and more readily accepted for women in construction there is still a somewhat filtered undertone and this is what needs to change as we do. Please share.

A new chapter - Dublin and some BIM expertise

Having just returned from Dublin I saw it fit to make some announcements and wrap up what was an informative and well received event in regard to BIM. The conference was organised by Ralph Montague from ArcDox and sponsors included Autodesk, diatec, NBS and Faro. As usual it was a good mix of the usual suspects in BIM in the UK and was a great chance for us all to share our knowledge on an informal platform to those willing to learn.

Dublin is quite special. Not only because my good friend and honorary #UKBIMcrew member Dave Leyden lives there but because its a beautifully layered city of some fantastic monumental architectural gems as well as grounded and friendly people. Ill be returning in September for a TEDx event hosted there.

The conference began with a keynote from Autodesk evangelist and thought leader Dominic Thasarathar. He touched on many Interesting and relevant future concepts whilst pointed out four future topics, which I tend to agree with, in terms of how our industry will evolve and change. These were digital reality, infinite computing, digital realisation and crowd and social networking. I couldn't agree more that these areas are going to shape the way we work in future and are already beginning to affect how we communicate and interact. The only barrier I feel to these changes is how we embrace and acknowledge them as early as we possibly can in regard to the way Education and schooling are developing, not only in the UK but on a global level. 

Following the keynote was the first panel and the one I was involved in with how Revit and various technologies improves and changes design workflow and how we utilise the tools we have to deliver informed design processes. Here I felt the perfect opportunity to announce my next move in the BIM transfer season that has been shifting the industry over the past year or so. I was representing the CIC and BIM2050 and ensured the crowd understood where our group was headed and what we were doing to influence change in the UK and I formally announced my Role as Associate Director for David Miller Architects.

A session I found worthwhile was the embedding of BIM into the education within the Dublin Institute of Technology presented by Cormac Allan. With this presentation came the same question of why the Architectural Degrees in the varying institutions were not engaging in this process. I was led to an interesting video by Malachy Matthews by an Architectural Lecturer Peggy Deamer at the Yale BIM Symposium from 2011. The video touched on a few very interesting points and some of which I agree with - some i disagree with but worth watching. See link:

The day followed with a few more great presentations and discussions - some heated and some not so heated but we all gained something from the day and learnt from each other. Having returned and back in London before heading off again tomorrow (this time a BIM2050 meet in manchester) I have to acknowledge two valuable lessons:

 1. Always be honest and truthful and share what you know. The BIM community is amazing because we are all driven by passion and interest in the topic and its something very few people find in their lives and for that I am grateful.

 2. Do not drink Guinness ever again ;)

Till next time...