December 11, 2017

Dr. Carrie Dossick Gives Keynote in Australia

UW Construction Management Professor and Center for Education and Research in Construction (CERC) Executive Director Carrie Dossick delivered the keynote address at the Innovation Production and Construction (IPC) Conference in Perth, Australia.

The Conference attracted faculty and students from around the world to learn about innovative technologies and thinking. Dr. Dossick’s keynote focused on how architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) teams adapt work practices to new technologies and the opportunities these technologies promise.

About the conference

New technologies and thinking keep unfolding in recent years. 3D printing (or additive manufacturing) is transforming the way that traditional construction projects can be built. Drones have been deployed to capture details which enable analysts to test various hypotheses. Tablets are now taking over the traditional paper-based blueprints and other documents in the construction process. Smart equipment, such as headsets and safety clothing, are now available for construction workers to help them meet the health and safety regulations. Building Information Modelling, as the advanced 3D modelling platform, has been recommended globally to integrate construction schedule, construction time and other valuable project information to make associated decisions.

Conference website: http://humanities.curtin.edu.au/research/centres/bim/ipc-2017/

Keynote speakers of IPC 2017

Professor Carrie Sturts Dossick
Director of the Centre for Education and Research in Construction
College of Built Environment
University of Washington

Professor Low Sui Pheng
Director of the Centre for Project Management and Construction Law
Department of Building, School of Design and Environment
National University of Singapore

Dr. Dossick’s Keynote Abstract:

Innovation Through Practice: The Messy Work of Making Technology Useful for Architecture, Engineering and Construction Firms and Teams

Dr. Carrie Sturts Dossick, P.E. and Dr. Laura Osburn

Through the study of visualizations, virtual worlds, and information exchange, our research reveals the complex connections between technology and the work of design and construction. Our studies focused on architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) teams as they grappled with adapting work practices to new technologies and the opportunities these technologies promise. Over the past decade, as new information technologies have been introduced to the AEC industry, they have been in tension with established norms of practice, including those set up by contractual standards and case law (e.g., the separation of design intent from construction means and methods) as well as social and organizational norms that frame team member expectations about how they should engage with others on a project. We argue that technology alone does not change practice. People who modify practices with and through technology create innovation.

In this talk we will touch on three lines of research. First, in studying the emergent use of technologies such as Building Information Modeling and Energy Modeling, we found that these new analytical tools required experts to come together in dialog to both create meaningful output and to understand the ramifications of the results that guided decision-making in design and construction teams. When we studied distributed AEC teams, we found that new visualization tools are additional ways of seeing design ideas and communicating analysis. These tools are not replacing traditional forms of representation (2D drawings) and interaction (sketching), but adding to the multiplicity of media available for design and construction work. Furthermore, sketching and gestures are essential practices to support productive AEC team interaction. These interactions are where team members discover and explain problems and vet new design proposals with multiple disciplines. Third and finally, we explore the processes of repair and breakdown in the context of information exchange. As we have studied the efforts to exchange data from Building Information Modeling to facilities management databases (e.g., computerized maintenance management systems or enterprise asset management systems), we have discovered the work that is required to get the data to “work.” This confirms emerging understanding from the broader area of critical data studies: Data are not absolute; they are constructed. Data have their own logic and structure. Whether it is a BIM manager looking to consolidate subcontractor’s models, an energy modeler seeking to improve building performance, or an operations engineer looking to use design documents, it takes reflection, creativity, patience, and expertise to make tools work and create new ways of working that leverage technology for more effective and innovative collaboration and communication.