DBL Annual Meeting Looks Toward Future and Innovation

Ph.D. student makes a presentation to attendees at the DFL.

By Malrey Head Atlanta, GA

The Digital Building Lab (DBL) held its annual members meeting and industry days in May. About 60 people attended the event, representing architecture, building construction, and industrial engineering.

DBL Director Dennis Shelden, who is also a professor in the School of Architecture, opened the two-day event.

The center does its own research, presents 5-10 key programs a year, offers workshops and symposia, as well as education and professional education programs, Shelden said.

The center has historically been focused on data, but is now extending into smart buildings and smart cities, he said. Industry partners work with faculty, students, and researchers.

Ph.D. student Xinghua Gao gives a presentation on day one of the meeting.
Xinghua Gao, a Ph.D. building construction grad, gives a presentation on the first day of the meeting.

For the past decade, the Digital Building Lab at Georgia Tech has been a leading voice in defining and guiding technology driven advances in practice. The DBL’s research, education, and industry engagement efforts bring academics, professionals, and technologists together to envision and create the future of practice.

Workshops and symposia connect industry leaders with other thought leaders, academic faculty, and students representing the next generation of leadership.

This year’s workshops brought together members and new stakeholders from across industry, to look at  expanding DBL’s mission to address broader industry trends beyond technology and their impacts on practice.

Following Shelden’s opening, faculty and students gave with presentations of their research. Speakers offered a range of topics, such as Integrating BIM and IoT Data and the Economic Impacts of Robots.

Russell Gentry presents to attendees at the DFL.
Russell Gentry presents to attendees at the Digital Fabrication Lab.

The day also included a tour of the Digital Fabrication Lab, a College of Design facility for the fabrication and assembly of prototypes and mock-ups, ranging from human scale to building scale. Russell Gentry, a partnering faculty in the DBL and an associate professor in the School of Architecture, led the tour.

Day two consisted of workshops for members and industry. Workshop tracks included Technology Disruption and Adoption, Design-Build-Replicate-Networked Firms and Practice Innovation, and Entrepreneurship and Capital.

This annual meeting started in 2009 under DBL founder Chuck Eastman. He is now a professor emeritus at the School of Architecture in the College of Design.