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Thursday, 15 December 2011

My First Autodesk University

Just over two weeks ago, I was lucky enough to attend Autodesk University 2011 in the Venetian Hotel & Conference Centre, Las Vegas. This was my first ever AU and it really didn’t disappoint.
 I arrived in Vegas about half two on the Monday before the conference after 17 hours travelling, to find my bags had been “mislaid” and wouldn’t be arriving till sometime on Wednesday. Not to be deterred, I attended the AU Freshman Orientation where Lynn Allen amongst others made us newbies feel welcome and gave us a good outlook of “what not to miss”.
I’m sure I did miss some very good things, such as the Innovation Forum: Innovation Cage Match—Grey Matter Smackdown, but what I did manage to attend was fantastic. 
Tuesday began with breakfast in the main hall with the rest of the 8,000 attendees. Walking into the Keynote session next was a strange experience, it was 8am in the morning and we were walking into a room light only with red fluorescent lights. An 8am nightclub was the feeling. The session itself was awe inspiring as Jeff Kowalski presented “The Five Waves of Disruption”.  If you watch on class on AU Virtual watch this. I filled the rest of the day with Innovation forums(including a terrific speech from Sir Ken Robinson at “Making Design Personal Again”) and some shopping for clothes(as my bag was still in transit) before an early night due to chronic jetlag.
Wednesday brought a fresher David, who was still in awe of how 8,000 people could eat breakfast all at once in one room. The first class I attended was presented by  Zach Kron and William Lopez Campo. This was the best class of the week for me. “You Want to Model a What? Converting Real Projects into Parametric Relationships”.  This was followed by two more classes, lunch, another Innovation forum. Then was the AUGI general meeting .The AUGI social event affectionately known as the AUGI Beer Bust followed that where I got the chance to check out the exhibit hall and network with some of the top professionals in our industry. My bag had finally arrived when I got in that night.
Thursday began with some Family Counselling with Mario Guttman and Weston Tanner, a lab class with Zach Kron and Robert Mana(Twice Baked: Creating Your Own Adaptive Components and Panels with Autodesk® Revit®) was the highlight of the day and then the AU mixer finished up the week. This was an amazing room with food ,beer, 8,000 people, a DJ and some live demos on stage.
Zaha Hadid, HOK, ARUP, KSS, Disney, were just a few of the companies who I had the chance to network with.
Overall it was and exhausting but thoroughly enjoyable week. I look forward to attending and renewing my new found friendships next year at AU2012.
Be sure to check out AU Virtual for all the classes and notes.
I’ll leave you with my favourite quotes of the week.
“For the cost of a bad Starbucks addiction, you can change the world”
 “The largest untapped recourse on the planet is the free time, disposable income and creativity of the creative class.”
Mark Hatch Tech Shop.

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