B.I.G Ideas

MIPIM PropTech 2019 Day 1 Article 2 of 3


Hello from the Eurostar carriage. On my way back from PropTech 2019 in Paris, so getting through things before being sidetracked by more bid deadlines!

So, skipping back the opening Keynote on day one after a detour to for the excellent Anders Indset in article 1.

Kai-uwe Bergmann is Partner at BIG (Bjark Ingels Group) from Denmark. The title for this keynote was Preserving Our Built Heritage with Technology, but to be honest it didn’t really touch on this much, but never the less we were given a view of BIG’s latest thoughts and projects, and a few things that stood out (for me anyway) aside from the design concept stuff in terms of Prop-Tech and a 3rd Industrial Revolution (3IR) context.

BIG have been working with Virgin Hyperloop on feasibility and also the Dubai Hyperloop station (this work went public in 2016, check it out on Dezeen). The Hyperloop isn’t new of course, but the advent of mass super fast land speeds (quicker than aircraft) is a very engaging. Of course it will require new infrastructure and routing, although maybe running over/on existing road networks and train networks is the solution here.

However, with the inevitable advent of autonomous vehicles, built in safety, and the possibility of electric vehicles “trains” and faster road speeds, it may be a while before Hyperloop is a mass transport system, but for long distance city connections instead of aircraft, yes please! That’s a transport revolution tick in the 3IR box.

Next were BIG’s thoughts on how the built environment professionals communicate and design in the future. We were shown a video of a Landscape Designer interacting in what looked like a Mixed Reality space (but rather barren!) , selecting and accessing holographic content with their hands and pen.

No mention was made of the Hololens2, but this is certainly the piece of hardware that will facilitate this vision (XLwerks have two Hololens2 on pre-order from Microsoft). We also saw a hi res hologram colleague appear and discuss a model placed on the table.

This may sound far fetched, but this is just around the corner, and coming to a design studio or education space near you. BIG are pushing forward their ideas on this with Google, and others are of course looking at this. Bently are already partners with Hololens, and Trimble Sketchup has a Hololens plug in now, and Autodesk of course wont be far behind ( you will note the nig Mixed Reality marketing push now for their laptops, this is in prep for Hololens) . We cant wait for Hololens2 to be released to the business market some time later this year. Mr.Bergmann had a great slide on the evolution of VR/MR tech, and we are about to get full professional dedicated Mixed Reality headsets added to this.

Finally we were shown BIG’s R+D on A.I. (again with Google, they are designing their HQ in California). This has a Bot that trawls the internet (Wikipedia, google maps etc etc) to collate information on a site for initial feasibility work. This is an obvious first use for A.I. across the early stages of design on projects, and we will see it take off very quickly now. Its going to mean the workload of junior staff will be greatly reduced, allowing everyone more time to think, design, and collaborate on solutions.

We are already seeing companies such as Landinsight doing this work in the marketplace, so this change is already here, along with others using powerful Geospatial data sets. Xlwerks are currently trailing Landinsight for our feasibility and masterplan work. We will let you know how we get on.

Both of these topics covfall under the 3IR banner of Communication, so two out of three covered in some way!

No chat about energy innovation, the third ingredient of 3IR, as this is a tech conference. But we cannot forget that Tech needs electricity, with sustainable production and storage for us to do anything we are talking about here! Enter Tesla stage left…..that’s for another post!Hope it was half interesting. Article three soon! And then day 2.

Many thanks

James Lee Burgess

CEO and Founder XLwerks

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