Architect Skills

“Better Starts Here” at Autodesk University 2019

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Posted By Matthew Von Dohre
Spot from Boston Dynamics

This year I was blessed with the opportunity to attend an international event that brings tens of thousands of professionals together from across various industries and professions.

Autodesk University is an event like no other that I have been to where they bring various industries together every year in Las Vegas Nevada, for a three-day conference that allows the attendees to get immersed in the world of Autodesk.

This year we heard they had over twelve thousand attendees from around the world and various industries including architecture, engineering, construction, manufacturing, media, film making, and several others.

Who is Autodesk you ask?

Autodesk is the multinational software corporation that developed a computer-aided design software or CAD back in 1982 that has been the software used by many architects, engineers, and designers for decades.

They are widely known for their 2D drawing software, dubbed AutoCAD, but they have also been instrumental in advancing many industries through the development of 3D design software and BIM platforms.

Better Starts Here

Opening Recepition

“ Better Starts Here” was the theme for this year’s conference that combined a diverse combination of classes, keynote speakers, certification exams, exhibits and enthusiasm showcasing what the industries have done with the Autodesk products.

The theme was purposefully inspiring and was a call to action that for those of us who are literally building the world around us, not just buildings but even for the products that you use in your everyday lives.

Keynote Speakers

Opening Keynote Speakers

This year’s speakers included BuildChange who is helping at-risk substandard housing around the world protect their homes from natural disasters, Volkswagen’s charge to produce electric vehicles thru generative design, Virgin Hyperloop Ones progress as they work to develop their transportation system, Marriott Hotels development and investment in modular construction while Walt Disney World created a new Star Wars-themed land that brings visitors together from galaxies far far away.  

Each year Autodesk brings together many inspirational speakers from various industries to showcase what they are doing with the Autodesk products and inspire others to challenge their own design aspirations to new heights.

Benefits of attending AU

Taking a class on Fusion 360

As I mentioned this was my first year attending Autodesk University and I can say that this experience has provided a lot of insight that will change the way I work as well as the way my colleagues work.

The various classes provided me the opportunity to learn more about Autodesk’s different software products that my office already owns but does not know how to use or implement.

This year I also took a different approach by choosing to follow the generative design and manufacturing tracks that would take me outside of my field of architecture in order to see how other industries are working within their design realms.

This proved to be a good decision that allowed me to gain a different perspective while taking what I have learned and applying it to the way we work, creating better processes and workflows between our project teams.

One of the many industriy discussions

Learning more at the Expo

The Architecture and Engineering Section of the AU Expo

The expo at AU was also a great opportunity to talk with others in the industry that can help support our project teams and even reduced some of the difficult or mundane tasks that we do.

Some of the vendors provided insight on project communication platforms, various rendering or 3D visualization engines, opportunities to experience virtual work stations and even learn more about the usage of drones for design and construction documentation.

At the Expo, we also had the opportunity to see some of the product developments such as Volkswagen’s electric bus, the Hyperloop One test vehicle, concrete printing robots, and various other robots that are currently being developed for the construction industry.

Robot 3D printing with concrete

 Learning opportunities after AU

If you missed this year’s Autodesk University convention or were not able to attend don’t fret you are in luck. Autodesk takes great pride in preserving the information from classes, keynotes, and other events during the convention and provide them to users through their website portal free of charge.

The AU 2019 events:

Autodesk University Las Vegas 2019 Events

Overall experience

Visiting the World Famous Las Vegas Sign

So my overall experience was great during this jam-packed three-day convention that immersed you in the world of Autodesk.

They inspired us with the notion of “Better Starts Here” and provided us with glimpses of what others are able to accomplish with their various software platforms.

Autodesk showed us how others are benefiting from the latest in communication and collaboration platforms while also provided us with a road map on how to get us where others have been.

I am glad that I was blessed with this opportunity to attend Autodesk University 2019 and I know it has changed my perspective and the perspective of others around me.

We will strive to take everything that we have learned at AU this year to help make changes in our industry as well as the world because after all, it all starts with us!

I hope that you have found my experience at AU helpful and it inspires you to explore the various classes and keynotes that Autodesk has archived for everyone seeking to develop and grow your career.


Matthew Von Dohre, RA, RID, NCARB

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