Last month I judged the AEC Hackathon in San Francisco

It has been an incredible experience to be part of the AEC Hackathon’s jury in San Francisco last month. First of all, I want to thank Damon Hernandez for the invitation. Damon is the AEC Hackathon’s founder. He works in many areas of the Web3D Industry and has been active in virtual environments and the 3D web for over a decade.

What AEC Hackathon is about?

Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry integrates separate fields into a single industry, allowing architects, engineers and contractors to achieve a common goal more efficiently. The AEC Hackathon aims to reunite experts in this field to collaborate together and create something revolutionary.

The teams

Hack my clash is a team that started from the idea of “clashes are like computer programming bugs” in Building Information Modeling (BIM). They designed a tool for automatically opening/closing BIM clashes within Pivotal Tracker. RhiFi created a collaborative VR system built with High Fidelity for exploring Rhino 3D geometry. Who Wants Solar created a map reporting people’s interest level in installing solar panel. Holo Project prototyped an application for Microsoft HoloLens to detect danger on construction sites. Captain Hook developed a “git diff”-like program for designers. Cabinet Cycle created an application that uses a 3D camera to automatically measure kitchen cabinet dimensions (width, height and depth).

Things I’ve learnt

A hack is a small project that solves one problem, designed and executed as quick as possible. A hackathon is mainly about collaboration and being creative. What makes a hackathon great is diverse mix of people working together to find solutions to problems. 
For jury, selecting winners can be challenging, and determining the right judging criteria is crucial. A good hack is collaboration that has the right balance of technical difficulty, creativity, usefulness and inherence with the hackathon theme. At the end, the jury was looking for ideas that were solving the industry problems and able to implement asap.

Overall, all teams presented very impressive projects and I was very inspired by every idea. I look forward to attending other hackathons soon!