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Why the ASCE Just Gave its Pankow Award for Innovation to the Autodesk Technology Center in Boston

When the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) notified us that the Autodesk Technology Center at the BUILD Space in Boston was receiving the 2019 Charles J. Pankow Award for Innovation, we could not have been prouder. ASCE is one of the fiercest advocates for investment in the built world around us. With a focused eye on our aging infrastructure and a population expected to reach 10 billion by 2050, ASCE recognizes we have a lot of work to do – and they share a similar vision of the need for open, practical innovation as we do at Autodesk. Thus, ASCE’s recognition is special to us.

Technology Center Boston Team. Front Row: Salem Chism, Yuri Cataldo, Haley Cormier, Hannah Rossi, Zack Tenaglia, Tim Brinkerhoff, Sophia Zelov, Rick Rundell. Back row: Nathan King, Adam Allard, Taylor Tobin, Stefanie Pender, Joe Aronis, Josh Aigen, Adam Day. Missing: Athena Moore, Danielle Gagnon

Named for construction industry visionary Charles J. Pankow, the award recognizes the contributions of organizations working collaboratively to advance the design and construction industry by introducing innovation into practice.

To claim this ‘win’ as our own however would be disingenuous.

To claim this ‘win’ as our own however would be disingenuous. While the Autodesk Technology Center at the BUILD Space in Boston provides the facilities, technology and equipment, training, and expertise for these communities to explore ideas that will shape the future, the academic and industry thought leaders who breathed life into the facility with their residencies and projects deserve equal credit.

These include forward-looking academic leaders from MIT, Harvard, Northeastern, Carnegie Mellon, and IAAC in Barcelona; adventurous startups like Pillar Tech, Lumii and Ori Systems who bring a fresh perspective to the space; equipment partners like Howick, BigRep, FARO and SMC help us with the heavy lifting. And of course our customers, those industry leaders who refuse to sit idly by waiting for others to take the lead in exploring transformation of the architecture, engineering and construction industry. These include Perkins+Will, Sasaki, EYP, Gensler, Bechtel, NBBJ and Elkus Manfredi, all of whom engaged with the BUILD Space team in our first year of operation. Listen to WBUR’s story from last year, which describes the BUILD Space in Boston and introduces a few of the residents.

Allow me to explain.

The network of Autodesk Technology Centers in San Francisco, Boston, Toronto, and Birmingham, UK, brings together industry, academic, and entrepreneurial communities to create a shared vision of the future of making. In these spaces, we help bring to life solutions that enable people to do more, and make better things with less negative impact on the world.

Located in Boston’s Seaport Innovation District, the BUILD Space is a research and development workspace where Autodesk invites startups, colleges and universities, and industry experts to explore ways to advance the building industry. The center focuses on industrialized construction, digital fabrication, automation and robotics in construction, and other ideas that are transforming the built world.

Technology Center Boston Resident from Perkins+Will developing an automated robotic assembly workflow. The Autodesk Technology Center Boston (BUILD Space) is an innovation space for digital fabrication in the building industry. The BUILD Space (BUilding, Innovation, Learning and Design), located in South Boston’s Innovation District, is a 30,000 sq ft facility housing workshops for metal fabrication, machining (CNC & Manual), wood working, water jet cutting, large format routing, laser cutting, composites, glass, robotics and 3-D printing.

To all of them and the hundreds of other teams and partners we have hosted in the last two-and-a-half years, this award is theirs.

We invite innovators of all types to consider joining us in the future of making as part of the residency program at the BUILD Space.