Podcast Review: A Guide to Architecture & Business in the Digital Age with Dale Sinclair- Business of Architecture

Podcast for Architects: A Guide to Architecture & Business in the Digital Age with Dale Sinclair- Business of Architecture - Sheet1
The business of architecture organiser and the host Rion Willard_©Business of Architecture

Business of Architecture, a leading business consulting for architects and design professionals is the organiser of this podcast and was hosted by Rion Willard. The podcast is a 1 hr informative talk session and starts with the introduction of the speaker.

Dale Sinclair who is the present Director of Innovation, AECOM which is a global infrastructure consultancy where they figure out how new technologies can be applied in the field of design and architecture. He is an author too and has published numerous books on the lead designer role and design management. He is also the RIBA Ambassador for collaboration and has authored the RIBA plan of work 2020.

Dale Sinclair now describes the way life in architecture has changed from the drawing tables to the CAD culture. He gives prime importance of optimizing traditional knowledge by the need for visualizing the third dimension data entries which could be brought by the use of latest technologies such as VR environment, machine learning tools etc. He also emphasizes the need for open-source intuitions on designing a building along with other aspects such as net-zero and considering buildings less as a product and more as an

Dale Sinclair, Director of Innovation_©Aecom

Levelling all areas of the company and integrating clients into the advanced technology is a major challenge. This is dealt with pragmatically by going a step up or down such as the conversion of 2D cad drawing to the 3D VR environment or vice versa according to need at the time of presentation.

AECOM is a company with 64,000 people and having a reach of over 150 countries puts the need for discussion of ideas on a global level to bring up innovative design processes and ideas. They also need to take the risk factor of designing a form that may not exist 5 years from after. Most of the clients that approach them come with a deframed agenda and they need to make sure that the process efficiency, deliverability is at their best because after all only the value matters. They also need to think about the fact that innovations are happening on a personal basis as well and the clients are being given the freedom of multidisciplinary choices. 

When coming to the implementation of the innovations Dale Sinclair wants us to understand the need for a digital library to document all the ideas that were used or that popped by during the process (eg; There could be around 150 ways for the placement of a staircase) that could be referred later. He also wants such references to be globally accessed by all to make architecture an easy practice. Further, these catalogues in drawing could become specifications that could boost the practice of manufactured houses or flat packs by increasing investment and confidence in companies.

He then clearly gives us an idea of why we can’t consider the building as a manufacturing product like an automobile or a ship. The reason is justified by the fact that a building is constructed on the site taking into consideration the environment, soil type etc, unlike the automobile which is produced somewhere and brought to the place of use. Hence the word construction is used for buildings only.

On the question of the evolving role of Artificial Intelligence in the architecture field. He replies that rather than AI being a real space designer it could be more used in generative design. He feels it would provide us with multiple options in a set of algorithms or rules. He also tells us the fact that machine learning tools require a lot of data to run well or understand the design. Other areas where it could flourish is in the interpretation of breach in-laws and anomaly detection. As the technology advances the flow of sketch to manufacturing stages could be eased. He let us know that rather than 3D printing by AI it would shine better in the factories as a 24 x 7 manufacturing unit.

In the end gives the latest initiatives of AECOM, “mini-model” which is a scale 3D model that could help them to consider the model in different levels and detail them more on materials, manufacturing parts etc. 

Well as a person in the field of architecture I have felt that the articulation of spaces can only be experienced properly by means of 3D, which could be brought to you by these technologies such as VR environment etc. This now could revolutionize architecture and could create buildings with the exact precision and need of the client.

Image credits

Image 1 : https://www.businessofarchitecture.com/podcast/ 

Image 2 :  ©https://architecturemasters.org






Sal S S is a native of Kerala, India. He is presently pursuing his Bachelors in Architecture and Planning from Visvesvaraya National Institute Of Technology,Nagpur. He is also a graphic designer and a blogger with keen interest in Bamboo architecture and Heritage Conservation. He believes architecture as an art of space making modelled out of elements of nature.