High-Profile Focus: Forecast 2019
Tapping into the Future of the Design and Construction Industry by the Young Professionals Council of the Construction Institute “Everything we know about our industry is wrong in terms of what we will be doing tomorrow.” (Jim Cramer, former EVP, AIA, founder, Design Intelligence, from his keynote at the Construction Institute’s AEC Leadership Conference, November 2018) There is perhaps no better way to learn about the future of the industry than to ask our young leaders for their views. Each is from a different aspect of the industry. We asked them to tell us what they are most excited about for the future and to give us a prediction for 2019 and beyond. Antonia Ciaverella, architectural designer, Tecton Architects
I’m excited for a person-centered future that enhances connectivity. I think there are challenges ahead requiring teams to structure differently, taking their interdisciplinary nature to new heights and redefining roles. Technology will continue to connect us — shaping culture, expectations, and environments — but Chris Waugh, chief design and innovation officer at Sutter Health, gives us one very important question to consider prior to implementation: “Will this make the experience more human, or less?”
Antonia’s prediction: I expect the industry to continue advancing health and well-being conversations as one component of a multifaceted approach to include participatory design and evidence-based practice. Lindsey Fortunato Todisco, architect and project manager, Fortunato Construction Group
I’m excited to see the faces of the industry change and diversify. I can’t wait to see the way these new perspectives will launch a previously stagnant industry forward. Lindsey’s prediction: I expect to see an increase in the use of prefab and modular products and new, sustainable, innovative materials and methods. I hope we’ll see even more momentum around cross-disciplinary engagement and collaboration. Eric Goldman, construction advisory and forensic claims consultant, Ankura
I’m excited to see that the implementation of technology in the field is starting to drastically shift the accuracy of project controls. Eric’s prediction: As the technologyproficient next generation continues to join the workforce, these project control tech trends will gain buy-in, creating more accurate, contemporaneous data, and resulting in better proactive project management. A win for all involved.
Maureen Funke, director of new business development, greenbox-is Interior Solutions
I’m excited about innovations in all areas of the AEC industry. Innovations that we are not yet anticipating are the ones that will drive us into the future. Maureen’s prediction: Efficiencies will come to us through prefabrication, technology, planning, teamwork, and so on, but certainly not from doing things the way we’ve always done them. Rachel Thayer, account manager at Resource Options, Inc.
I’m most excited for the massive change that will take over the next decade in our AEC industry. As Nick Candito, CEO of Progressly, said, “Companies that change may survive, but companies that transform thrive. Change brings incremental or small-scale adaptations, while transformation brings great improvements that ripple through the future of an organization.”
Rachel’s prediction: Our society as a whole is already in a technology-driven world, and with the Millennial and Z generations now in the workforce, we are only going to become more dependent on this variable. Because of technology, our leadership styles will have to amend to different management styles in order to motivate, retain, and promote this generation of workers. Leonardo Pupim, AV technology business consultant, VisionPoint, LLC
I’m excited about the impact new technologies are having on businesses and the industry. I can connect with anyone in the world to collaborate on projects, share information live, and execute projects. Working directly in a technology industry, I see the impact to companies firsthand when technology is deployed and used properly. Leo’s prediction: I see businesses investing in technology to gather metrics on their business operations, to make data-driven decisions for future projects and investments. The Construction Institute/University of Hartford is a non-profit, non-partisan association of diverse professionals working to improve the A/E/C industry by sharing experiences and knowledge, advancing relationships, and developing business leaders.
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This is the Forecast 2019 issue! It's a new year, and we've got and a new outlook!