NXT BLD Virtual: 8-15 October 2020

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From 8-15 October 2020, we’ll be hosting our first virtual conference, taking place entirely online in daily 90 minute sessions. Our line up of speakers is unparalleled, tickets completely free, and the event fully interactive with a live Q&A

As 2020 continues to do its worst, NXT BLD (Next Build), AEC Magazine’s and Lenovo’s conference on future AEC technology will not be suppressed any longer. While the physical event has been put back to 16 June 2021, for obvious reasons, we will put on our first virtual variant starting 8 October 2020, running 9, 12, 13, 14, 15 October.

NXT BLD Virtual will be broken up into 90 minute instalments to run in the afternoon (UK BST) over the five days.

Each session will start with three 20 minute presentations followed by 30 minutes of live Q&A with the speakers. It’s completely free to register and you’ll also get to view the content online afterwards.

For those unfamiliar with NXT BLD we bring together a mix of researchers, practitioners and technologists to give a series of talks on future technologies, innovative projects and updates on the state of research from around the globe. There are presentations about: robots, AI, blockchain, digital fabrication, modular, digital twins, realtime rendering, VR/AR, knitted buildings, 3D printing, laser scanning, computational and generative design and lots more. Past talks can be seen here.

Conference lineup

This year we have an incredible lineup of speakers from across the globe.


The Open Letter to Autodesk group

We’re very excited to welcome the Open Letter to Autodesk group who will be discussing the future of Digital Design workflows. The vocal group of architectural practices, who wrote that infamous letter to Autodesk’s CEO, will be discussing what they’d like to see — and what the industry needs — from future design technologies.

The future of Digital Design workflows

Mollie Claypool – Automated Architecture

Mollie Claypool is an architecture theorist, critic and educator at the Bartlett. Her recently released book, Robotic Building: Architecture in the Age of Automation caught our attention and we are thrilled to have her speak.

Robots in construction

Nate Miller – Proving Ground

Nate Miller is founder of Proving Ground, assisting some of the biggest firms with their tricksiest data and computation problems. We asked Nate to look at the future of conceptual design tools.

The future of conceptual tools

Alex Coulombe – Agile Lens

Alex Coulombe of Agile Lens will be looking at the development of VR and its use in architectural design, through a real world project over a number of years, as the technology matured and the quality improved dramatically.

Advanced VR for architectural design

Bruce Bell – Facit Homes

Bruce Bell of Facit Homes, the first bespoke design to digital fabrication residential practice, has spent the last year looking at what new technologies are coming to building fabrication.

The future of digital fabrication

Elif Erdine – Architectural Association

Elif Erdine, director of Emergent Technologies at the AA, has done some fascinating research into computational design, robotic assisted fabrication and construction, all of which made her a natural choice for NXT BLD.

Parametrics and materials

Mark Taylor – Royal BAM Group

Mark Taylor, senior digital construction manager at Royal BAM Group has been involved in developing new technologies for on and offsite construction. Mark will look at how technologies like 3D printed concrete are expanding Royal BAM’s capabilities.

3D printed concrete / digital fab

Julie Dorsey – Mental Canvas

Julie Dorsey is the Founder and Chief Scientist of Mental Canvas, a New York-based software company whose mission is to reinvent visual communication by transforming the medium of drawing – its conception, creation and consumption. Julie will show you conceptual design like you’ve never seen before.

Conceptual design – the future of drawing

Tal Friedman – Tal Friedman Architecture & Design

Tal Friedman is an architect and construction-tech entrepreneur who is active in automated algorithm-based design-to-fabrication, will explore the transition from parametric architecture to digital construction.

Digital Construction

Elena Casini – Most Architecture / Fernando Garcia Blanco – Foster + Partners

Fernando Garcia Blanco (Foster + Partners) will join Elena Casini (Most Architecture) to give a fascinating insight into how humans and robots will interact in buildings of the future — a future where robots build, maintain and learn, and coexist with humans in a natural environment.

Human-robot interaction

Alexander Türk – Aeditive

Alexander Türk of Aeditive will share new developments in construction 3D printing.

Construction 3D printing

Ken Pimentel – Epic Games

Ken Pimentel is AEC Industry Manager at Epic Games. Through Unreal Engine the company is pioneering high poly, real-time rendering for architectural visualisation and Ken will look at what’s coming next.

Real-time visualisation

Chris Ruffo – Lenovo

Scott Ruppert, Chris Ruffo (pictured) and Mike Leach will discuss survey results and feedback collected by Lenovo about how Covid has changed they way people work.

How Covid has changed the way AEC firms work

Andrew Rink – Nvidia

Andrew Rink of Nvidia will share the latest on Omniverse, an exciting new platform technology that brings together architects and other stakeholders in a visually rich, real-time collaborative environment.

Collaborative workflows with visual computing

Michael Katz – AMD

AMD’s Michael Katz will show how Threadripper Pro, a beast of a CPU with up to 64-cores that makes the new Lenovo ThinkStation P620 tick, is transforming AEC workflows.

High performance workstations

Hilmar Gunnarsson – Arkio

Johan Hanegraaf and Hilmar Gunnarsson will give their presentation from within VR, showing the latest developments in their groundbreaking collaborative conceptual design tool Arkio.

VR for conceptual design

Check out the NXTBLD website for more details and the full line up of speakers.

Virtual conference details

8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15 October 2020

90 minute afternoon sessions (starting at 4.00pm BST)

Claim your FREE conference pass at nxtbld.com

Design Computation I/O

This year we will also co-host Design Computation I/O, a start-up research conference on computational design methods, which has also gone virtual.

If you know anyone in computational design, it’s definitely worth alerting them to this in-depth event designcomputation.org/dcio

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