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Meet our Data Day Speaker, Ryan Cameron

Who are YOU?

As an architect with a passion for design and data, I find myself helping others around the world take a dive into the world of design technology. I am often quoted in the industry with the phrase, “The leaders will be movers of data that create and enhance architectural spaces that elevate the user experience.” We’re all discovering this message resonates with so many design professionals. It represents a moment in time that we need to be much more cognizant of our ability to digitally move our design inputs and outputs. We need to do it in a way that captures actionable insights to inform our designs so that they elevate the human experience. Imagine a future where we quickly move data to create more informed designs rather than one based purely on whims and aesthetic. While at the same time helping the environment and elevating the client experience. Truly a bright future indeed!

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Outside of work, you’ll find me spending more of my time with my wife and two boys. My oldest is starting tee-ball and youngest will be in pre-school soon enough. My wife Ashley is the real superhero as she helps me bridge gaps in so many ways. I’m very fortunate to have someone like her. In the meantime, I help volunteer for a non-profit art museum and with a small team and I have been working on a side-project for about 9 years now called Architect Machines. We’ve established roughly 1,000 subscribers to date, created a couple mobile apps and will soon be launching a few new projects out into the world! Long overdue!

What do you feel is most lacking in the industry? How can it be changed?

Design professionals will need to have a basic understanding of what data means for them if they are to succeed. To be honest, it would great to see the industry get in alignment with reconciling what data exchanges truly are and how they could be used to our benefit. There seems to be a lot of contentious thinking rather than collaborative ways data can interact between users and clients. Change will not be easy as we’ll need to find a common language. That language will need to be debated, governed and then delivered simply and coherently to the industry. This is a global issue, not a single group can take this on themselves without involvement from other industries as well. We’re looking forward to some collaboration in the U.S. and overseas to accomplish this endeavor.

The more I experiment with Artificial Intelligence, the more opportunities there are for us as an industry. Rather than touch on what is missing or focus on what needs to change, it’s time to point out that this revolutionary thinking will take time to grow. It would be great to let the industry to get a solid grasp on data before we start building ways to interface with that data through platforms.

What issues do you face and how do you manage to overcome these issues?

Remembering back to a time where it was a struggle to show what visual programming tools could bring to the table: It was easiest to make a screencast of step by step instructions on how to eliminate hours’ worth of work into a few clicks after the code was established. It helped inform reluctant users and turned them into believers once they saw the process that ultimately empowered them. The issue has shifted slightly to bring about an awareness of the digital transformation the industry faces and getting leadership proactive enough to engage it and allow people in their organization to be entrepreneurial. We have great talent in the industry and incredible technology, but as Randy Deutsch’s book Superusers pg185 suggests: “Leading design technology requires a spirit of empowerment, engagement and entrepreneurship.” There’s been some success by leading presentations on the topic of digital transformation like the presentations delivered at AIA Iowa Spring Conference earlier this year and AIA Minnesota late last year. We need to do a better job at elevating it in discussions happening at firms all over the world.

What have you achieved and how?

Only recently with the release of a community-platform (in beta), a Dynamo package and multiple step by step video series on YouTube did I realize the impact these creative endeavors are having on the industry. Upon talking with several friends in leadership roles at multiple firms, they revealed that the dozens of presentations and workshops I’ve been leading over the past decade have been having a real impact on the people who use the tools, but also how they think of technology leadership. It is humbling to discover that achievement. It just seemed like the right thing to do at the time and continues to be that way. I will try to work harder to help more people in the industry.

Tell us more about what the next steps are for you in your role. What do you wish to achieve?

Great question! Some would say I need to reduce the number of roles I play! It would be nice to concentrate on one or two instead of the five or six I’m toiling with now. It comes with being a bit of a generalist. I think it’s great that there is a lot of focus on being a specialist in one area of design. To me, we need to harness these skillsets and tailor them to the profession or face losing them to other industries. Thinking of it this way: I’m an architect with these additional skills, not the other way around. There are some unique roles I’m qualified for that could help the industry rise. I’m not a fortune teller, but the roles will most likely revolve around leading digital integration in some shape or form.

Tell us more about your session

‘Use Analytics to Elevate the Client Experience

Welcome to another edition of #Data! This session will provide practical use applications to help your everyday architects, engineers, and designers complete requirements. Design changes daily so we will look at some strategies using computation from your 3D design platform then put them into a data analytics tool.

Digital tools that create and assess data have taken our industry by storm. When implemented correctly, these technologies can greatly provide answers to problems your projects are facing. By now your team is interested in finding ways to have data help inform decision making. When we illuminate data, we’re talking about a direction that we can understand it and better relate to it. If we uncover hidden patterns in both human uses and building optimizations, then we can better understand how to design the spaces we occupy.

  1. After completion of a unique project, the team including the client felt there was a story that needed told about some of the data strategies we used to help the client.
  2. I’m hoping to reach a larger audience and enlighten them that data is not only important to design but to the client as well. We have yet to see an industry talk on the client experience opportunities that exist. Great! You have data! Now what? KPI’s? OKR’s? Did you remember to ask the client about the experience?
  3. This session should help attendees gain an understanding of how important it is to use data not only for solving the design problem, but ultimately raise the bar for the client. It only makes sense that if your client does better because of what you did, you will do better in business.

Ryan is presenting on Wednesday, July 17 in the Data Day 2019 Program. There are over 100 attendees already signed up for Data Day, preceding BILT. If you have not already you can register here. Or modify your registration to include Data Day 2019 here.

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COVID-19 Update

20th May 2020

DBEI has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation around the world. While some parts of our society are beginning to open in baby-steps, none of us know how the situation will develop over the coming months. As such, DBEI has now made the decision to postpone all our 2020 events to 2021 as the well-being of all our partners and participants in our events remains our utmost priority. For new details on each region please visit our event pages. We have also sent communications to all registered attendees, speakers or sponsors for all of our 2020 events.

In the interim, DBEI will be launching several exciting virtual events and webinars in 2020 to continue to deliver the same expertise, insights and knowledge to the AEC industry during these uncertain times. We also have some other exciting initiatives we are working on to continue to provide value to our community, which we look forward to sharing with you all shortly.

We wish to thank you all for your support and appreciate your patience and understanding under the current circumstances and will continue to update our website and the community if there are any changes.

If you have any concerns or questions about our events please email us at info@dbei.org