Autodesk is the AEC industry’s predominant software provider, with its workhorses AutoCAD and Revit providing the basis for most domestic architectural firms’ production. But even with 200 million–plus users and a 2018 projected revenue of more than $2 billion, Autodesk is not resting on its laurels. The San Rafael, Calif.–based company is quickly evolving to “do more, better, with less,” as president and CEO Andrew Anagnost stated at Autodesk University in November. “We believe that humans and technology—whether that’s robots or Revit—can accomplish a lot more working together than working alone.”
The “more” in that statement includes projects in cloud-based computing, artificial intelligence–led generative design, and machine learning, as well as the new Autodesk BUILD (Building, Innovation, Learning, and Design) Space—a 34,000-square-foot incubator in Boston where the company has an enviable early-stage view onto the future models and tools of design practice. Since October 2016, BUILD has hosted research initiatives by approximately 500 people from 70 architecture schools, startups, and design firms. Users get space and access to high-tech equipment, including 3D printers, CNC milling machines, robotics, and computing resources—for free.