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ep-26-alfonso oliva

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May 7, 2021

Driving Experimentation in Construction Through Creativity

Experimental projects encourage creativity in the construction industry. At the forefront of this is Alfonso Oliva, Director of LERA+ – a spinoff of structural-engineering firm LERA. LERA+ pushes the boundaries of creativity with the principles of engineering by way of design optimization, software development, simulation and 3D modeling. The result? A jaw-dropping portfolio that includes some of the most iconic buildings and structural art in the world.

As exciting as these projects may be, most construction firms don’t require such high levels of experimentation. However, there’s a thing or two to be learned about introducing new levels of creativity to projects and optimizing projects through technology, such as computational design and digital fabrication.

In this episode of the Mobile Workforce Podcast, Oliva breaks down how structural optimization technologies are being utilized in construction projects across the country and how construction firms can incorporate creativity and artwork into their projects.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Experimental projects begin with research. There’s no shortage of cut-and-dry construction projects. But on the occasion a firm is allowed to think outside the box and experiment with new possibilities, the process begins with a big question mark: why not? From ideation, a team should analyze their concept as if they were in school, questioning and researching to determine what’s possible and understand the boundaries they can work within.
  2. Technology, creativity and engineering go hand-in-hand. According to Oliva, most anything is possible when seen through the lens of these three factors. A creative idea relies on engineering principles to understand its boundaries, while technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) solutions enable construction firms and consultancies to streamline projects and move them forward.
  3. Technology will always be second to human judgement. There’s no question technologies speed projects along and eliminate repetitive tasks, but what solutions like AI can never replace is human judgement. Whether it’s from an engineer, fabricator, architect or client, technologies help guide the way, but people will always understand the beauty and feel of a project in a way technology could never replace.