Transit WITH – Sharing Ideas – is our newborn initiative in which we will talk to innovators, creators and our partners about ways to change the world through fresh ideas, creative approaches and break-through processes.
Our first Transit WITH interview, Live on Instagram, was with Aldo Sollazzo – the founder of Noumena, La Maquina, Pure Tech and Reshape to chat about robotics, data and Sensing Machines.
Since 2011, Noumena has developed practice integrating cutting-edge technology to study and analyse spatial behaviours. Founded by me, Efilena Baseta and Chirag Rangholia, Noumena has been involved in multiple initiatives, from research to implementation, taking part in an international network of innovators and technology leaders.
Noumena’s mission is to develop metrics and instruments to empower decision-makers towards more efficient, resilient and sustainable spatial solutions.
The construction industry is a historically complex sector.
In the late 20th century, the increasing difficulty to establish efficient practices became largely evident, indicating the need for a deep reassessment of its own foundation. The slow growth for the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) sector can easily be proved by means of comparison. In the United States, for instance, from 1947 to 2010, productivity in construction barely changed at all. Meanwhile, productivity increased by more than a factor of eight in manufacturing and by more than a factor of 16 in agriculture [McKinsey, 2017].
Such a slow evolution is mainly due to several factors, the dependency of the Construction industry on the public-sector demand, the fragmentation of the marketplace and the consequential poor project management and execution, as the lack of skills, inadequate design process and underinvestments in research, development and Innovation.
As a key aspect involving design and execution, equally relevant are the failure of planning mechanisms and the apparent inability of plans to represent the reality of on-site construction [Kamaruddin et al.,2015 ].
In such a framework, a strong impact is foreseen in the next few years for companies introducing advanced automation systems.
Indeed, automation—alongside the global need for new and updated infrastructure and better and more affordable housing—can help shape the direction of the industry. The key will be anticipating and preparing for the shift, in part by developing new skills in the current and future workforce [Chui, 2019].
Behind the word automation there is an essential factor enhancing the effective implementation of emerging solutions: data.
Data-driven practices are, indeed, triggering the introduction of novel applications bringing closer the different stakeholders in the AEC sector, from design to manufacturing to on-site operations. As an undeniable force capable of revamping the stagnant AEC sector of central to redefine existing protocols and probably introduce new ones. From material properties informing design and fabrication protocols, to performance based simulations to on-site construction instructions and monitoring methods, data is stretching its roots in all principal stages of construction, becoming central in redefining existing protocols and probably introduce new ones. From material properties informing design and fabrication protocols, to performance based simulations to on-site construction instructions and monitoring methods, data is stretching its roots in all principal stages of construction.