Presenting Joe Banks, The Winner of the Inaugural Competition at RTC Europe 2015

RTC Europe 2016 is less than 30 days away and with flights booked and PowerPoint slides prepared I could not be more excited. As the winner of the inaugural PechaKucha competition in 2015, I have been given the opportunity to write this guest blog post. Part of the prize from the Vision 20/20 is acceptance to speak again this year and to expand on that presentation into a full length session.

For those unfamiliar with this competition, it is a presentation format consisting of 20 slides that run for 20 seconds each for a total of 6 minutes and 40 seconds. The catch is that the transition of the slide is pre-configured in the PowerPoint (so no clicker). It is a little daunting at first, timing your speech to match the slides is harder than it sounds.

The three presenters last year (myself included) got a little carried away. Rather than sticking with the exact format of the competition, we also integrated some animations into the slides. This enabled a more fluid pace and gave us the chance to communicate more information in the limited time we had. This year RTC are changing the format slightly and re-branding as Vision 20/20 to allow for this kind of flexibility.

The 2015 competition was a real highlight of the conference for me. It is the only opportunity for a non-committee member to address the entire conference, and that’s pretty awesome. I admit that I was nervous before the presentation. I was pacing around rehearsing to myself trying to keep my energy high, like the world’s nerdiest prize fighter. Thankfully, it all went quite well, the crowd was attentive and generous with applause the atmosphere from on stage was great and I just loved the experience.

To me the process of converting my presentation into a full 70-minute session was relatively straight forward. In fact, the biggest issue I faced was condensing down the material to fit.
There is so much to talk about.

In my case, the idea (or rant) came to me while I was trying to do some Revit work and my nephew was playing video games in the background. The premise of my presentation was that the gaming industry has solved a lot of the problems that face our industry in regards to real-time visualisation and large multi-user collaboration. Some of these games allow huge numbers of users to interact with each other in an open world “sandbox” environment where actions of one player can be seen and felt by all the other players in real-time.

There is an incredible opportunity here to leverage the technology of the gaming industry to improve our workflows and create a real collaborative environment for design and construction.

There is no shortage of ideas and technology to talk about in this arena with huge leaps and bounds in gaming engine technology, interactive web formats, VR and AR hardware. Then there are the seemingly tireless efforts of industry members working in their own time to write code and provide solutions so we can use these tools every day, I could happily talk for hours.

For example, the most disruptive change that has come about since 2015 is the massive performance improvement of the GPUs available. The NVIDIA 1080 GTX (pascal) is twice the performance and three times the power efficiency and a third of the price of last year’s most powerful graphics card. But that’s just the start of this advance in technology. NVIDIA are promising that the next shift to the “volta” architecture will be an even steeper increase in performance. This should theoretically coincide with the first steep performance increase for the x86 architecture (CPU) in 10 years.


It all adds up to amazing news for the AEC industry as we spend more money chasing the technology curve than any other industry except cinema and Silicon Valley. I’m expecting big things for 2017/2018 period, so get your IT budgets prepared and your purchase orders ready, the time for a serious IT upgrade is imminent.

What does that mean for us, the end users? It means less waiting for your computer to catch up and more getting things done. It means access to high quality graphics which allows you to make design decisions based on real world lighting and materials instead of using your imagination (like a caveman). It means opportunity to implement new software that takes advantage of these performance increases and makes us look good. Who knows, maybe it will mean I can open a large model in Revit without it having a heart attack.

OK, I think I’ve just written another 6min and 40 right there. See it’s easy.

I think the basis for any presentation. is just having a good idea to start with, then expanding on that and trying to present it in a way that is entertaining and informative.

So if you’ve got a big idea that you think the rest of the conference would like to hear about, why not enter this year’s Vision 20/20 competition. This year’s topic is “Big Data (deep insight) – what is it?

Details can be found here:

And don’t forget to come check out my talks and LAB at RTCEUR, these are my sessions:

S2.4 Collaboration Tools and Methods Comparison.

S3.1 (LAB) Nested Objects, Make your Model Light, Efficient and Easy to Edit.

S3.2 Real Time rendering and VR for Revit.

Can wait to see you all there!
(Assuming you are attending, if not, I still think you’re pretty cool for reading this blog).



Translate »