Tuesday, February 14, 2012

February SFDD Meeting

Attendees: Dave Bleiman, Mario Guttman, Marla Ushijima, Craig Goings, Eric Peabody

Dave hosted the meeting at Rutherford & Chekene with some lovely breakfast treats and lots of stimulating ideas. We started by watching Did You Know 3.0/Shift Happens by Karl Fisch, Scott McLeod, and XPLANE, which identifies trends that many Americans might find surprising.

Dave posits that innovation is no longer the purview of a lone genius sitting in a garage working by himself. Innovation is triggered by connectivity, and as connectivity increases, the rate of innovation increases. Innovation tends to happen more quickly in large cities because there are more opportunities for making connections. Eric notes that likewise, good lab design optimizes random social interactions to foster cross-fertilization.

Dave showed us a beta presentation that he's preparing for an upcoming AEC conference.

5 Waves of Disruption: Impacts and Opportunities

1.0 - Shift from Ownership to Access and Experience:
·         Zip car, Salesforce, Google apps

2.0 - Business Unusual - Business as a pickup game
·         Cloud sourcing services match need with independent contractors world-wide:
·         Elance - all kinds of services
·         99 Designs - graphic design
·         Arcbazar - architectural/interiors design
·         Li & Fung - manufacturing. They don't own anything, but orchestrate the process through highly-specialized factories
·         KickStart - micro loans
·         Kickstarter - market for funding of creative ventures, contingent upon reaching total funding goals

 3.0 - Digital Manufacturing
·         Scanning analog to digital >  Manipulating the digital content > 3D Printing 
·         3D printers now available for less than $1000 that can print 95% of its own parts when it's first set up
·         ConXtech pre-fab high-precision steel framing system

 4.0 - Ambient Intelligence
·         Secure RFID tags - for people?
·         Fitbit - tracks movement to evaluate exercise; insurance offers premium pricing to people willing to wear it (and showing sufficient levels of exercise)
·         Cost of RFID tags for supermarkets drops to 1¢ - will replace barcodes
·         Objects embedded with technology to be part of network intelligence

5.0 - Infinite Computing
·         Computational power becoming cheaper than water
·         exaFLOP is one quintillion computer operations per second (10 to the 30th power)
·         3D arrays of processors
·         Moore's Law (number of transistors on a chip doubles every two years) will apply for 75 more years (only)
·         Intel - "last year there were more processors manufactured than grains of rice harvested, and a lower unit cost" (there are a million processors on a chip)
·         Once you define 20 parameters than can affect design, evaluating options is basically free

How does innovation happen?
·         from connectivity
·         Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson (You Tube)
·         Stages of innovation: Impossible > Improbable > Possible > Likely > Expected (Where's my latte?)
How does Innovation Impact Organizations?
·         Impossible > Impractical > Possible > Expected > Required
·         Break-Thru Technology is replaced by Sustaining Technology
·         Value pricing gets replaced by commodity pricing
·         CADD was originally a value-added proposition justifying higher compensation, then it became the norm. Same for BIM. What's next? Fabrication, cloud-based parametric performance design?

 How do we create competitive separation?
·         Speed of innovation won't allow people to stand there waiting for the bus
·         Shift from hand drafting to pin-registered drafting to CADD to BIM
·         Someone from medieval times plopped into the current world would see it as insurmountable but we're able to deal with it
·         Rutherford & Chekene offers free membership to Techshop to employees
·         P2SL lean organization
·         MIT putting all their classes online for anyone in the world to audit

Technology waves of disruption create opportunities
·         Innovation is happening outside of the U.S. New societies trying to build themselves from the ground up aren't bogged down in current technologies and infrastructure; they're interested in ideas only.
·         ipad sweatshops in China persist because manual labor there is cheaper than machines.
·         Don't compare doing the same things and compensation in other countries. Each country should do what they do best for universal optimization.

There's a battle doing on for scope in our industry. Designers are losing ground to contractors.
·         A really big design firm in France is 20 people; they only go up to DD, then pass it off to contractors
·         Conceptualization is needed separately from delivery; society needs both
·         We need to collaborate more closely on the manufacturing side
·         Architects can't market value in the same way as contractors can.
·         Designer's interests are more aligned with a client's interests than contractors are
o    if designers improve efficiency, owners realize the benefit
o    if contractors improve efficiency, contractors realize the benefit
·         foster relationships with contractor

Apple does the design - 70-80% of profits remain in U.S.
Apple controls the data (iTunes)
China manufactures the hardware - 3% of profit

Manage the value stream
Don't give away the data

Dave would be willing to make this presentation at architectural offices if invited.