Kyle Bernhardt
Director, Building Design Strategy
Autodesk, Boston

The global middle class is growing faster than at any other time in history: 400,000 people join the middle class every day. This is good news. However, with this increasingly urban population comes greater demand for almost everything, including goods and services. By looking at today’s current state, opportunities to address growing demand in the future can be discerned. As the population grows, the demand for new and restored buildings and infrastructure is forcing architects, engineers and contractors to rethink the things they make, how they make them, and the way they work. Ways in which the industry is adapting to the need to design and build more, but with less negative impacts on the environment are explored. The capabilities of available tools that help architects, engineers and contractors deal with these design challenges are presented, and their means of designing and making anything, from skyscrapers and smart cars to bridges and blockbusters are thoroughly laid out.

The benefits and implications of automation with regard to modern-day design challenges delve into how bringing design from the digital world into the physical world can present an opportunity to do things more efficiently. For decades, automation has helped society offload tasks and optimize processes. But it's imagination, not optimization, that continues to drive the industry forward. A new relationship with automation is helping people imagine new kinds of auto parts and new kinds of neighborhoods. Through human innovation and automation, the world can be shaped in new and interesting ways.