Panoramic conference room delegates & screen

I am not a conference delegate.

Cutest Disney Princess I am courtesy of Baby Yoda's instagramOr at least, I never thought I would be.

Recently, however, that all changed, when the practice encouraged me to attend the ArchINTENSIVE conference. I had always thought of conferences in the stereotypical sense of crowds of uber-nerds packed into expansive halls, dressing up as Yoda and sharing their fan art, but my first experience of a building industry technology conference has changed all that.

The Network

The two-day experience was one of the last events at the Australian Institute of Architects – QLD Chapter building on Merivale Street in South Brisbane. The event brought together users from across the country and from across a wide spectrum of practice sizes. It was eye-opening to discuss esoteric and technical concepts with Tasmanian small practice owners and BIM managers from multi-national firms in the same breath.

I met people who were having the same issues with software that I was. I talked with users who had solved that technical problem that had been racking my brain for weeks. I helped a sole practitioner from Melbourne with a new idea for approaching their modelling problem. The opportunity to network with some of the brightest minds in the ArchiCAD community was inspiring.

Whether I had realised it or not, I was a member of a very passionate Archicad community in Australia and it was at events like ArchINTENSIVE that you get to appreciate how strong those communities are.

As well as the networking opportunities there were many informative and engaging presentations, sharing new techniques, exploring technical challenges, addressing people management and looking to the future of tool development.

Industry-leading expertise

Powe Architect’s very own ArchiCAD guru, Matthew Johnson, presented two informative and entertaining sessions. He first explored the often-dull world of BIM Classification through the lens of the often underappreciated 80’s paramilitary organisation that is the A-Team. How he quite managed to draw the connections between Mr T and the international standard for the classification of model data… I think a lot of us will be left to ponder for some time, but it worked.

On the second day of the event, Matthew presented on a tool from NBS that was just being launched into the Australian market after a very successful adoption in the UK. In his usual style, Matthew couldn’t just approach a new tool head-on, so this time he used 70’s cult kung-fu TV references to dissect the way specifications could be linked to BIM data in Archicad. The NBS Australia team recorded the talk and you see the show here.

Panoramic conference room delegates & screenAs well as local Archicad experts, there were presenters from Graphisoft’s head office in Hungary and Hong Kong based Enzyme who showed us how to really push the technology envelope with real-time rendering in Twinmotion and generative design in Rhino and Grasshopper.

Don't fall asleep in class

It was important to keep your caffeine levels up; while some topics may have been a little on the dry side it pays to maintain focus! One delegate may have been caught resting his eyes during a presentation… A lesson learned, with the photographic evidence published on the big screen in a later session!

Open Sharing

It’s fantastic to see the ArchiCAD community coming together to openly share their knowledge and experience. In a world where CAD software is constantly evolving and improving, it’s important to keep up to date with the latest developments and techniques. ArchINTENSIVE helps us achieve this by providing an opportunity to learn and improve our services to the benefit of our clients.

I’m looking forward to next year’s conference when we can do what we can’t now; I’m looking forward to face-to-face networking once again!

Nathan Hildebrandt and Skewed runs Archintensive as an annual event. Some of these images were courtesy of his twitter feed! Our Architectural Graduate, Iona Mansfield attended; click through to see the projects that have benefited from Iona’s expertise.