Autodesk software, Autodesk University, Software for architecture students

Q+A with Louay Dahmash: How Autodesk’s new software helps UAE architecture students

DesignMENA sits with Louay Dahmash, territory head of Middle East & Turkey at Autodesk, to discuss Autodesk’s new software for architecture students in the UAE.

Firstly, what is the Autodesk software? How does it compare to other architecture programs?

Today’s architecture students are the designers of the future, and their need to use easily accessible services to improve the quality of their projects has never been so prevalent.

To put things into context, by 2050, the world population is expected to reach 10 billion, out of which 75 percent of those people will be living in cities significantly increasing the need to create structures that are not just built for its aesthetics, but also for its integrity and performance.

We believe that these challenges will be solved by tomorrow’s designers. That is why it is important to equip students with cutting-edge technology to inspire and create the next generation of designers and innovators. Software such as Building Information Modelling (BIM), an intelligent 3D model-based process, give architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) professionals the insight and tools to more efficiently plan, design, construct and manage buildings and infrastructure.

Contrary to other conventional architecture programs, the use of Autodesk’s BIM software in design processes provides users with a collaborative platform that connects teams across a variety of disciplines enabling them to constantly update and improve a particular project in order to better assess the progress of their work and ultimately deliver with greater efficiency and accuracy. BIM also provides organisations with the opportunity to save a significant amount of time and costs by minimising or eliminating the material wastage as it can adjust for any changes made almost instantly.

Furthermore, the Autodesk Education Community provides design students the much needed knowledge and expertise by offering e-learning tools, guidance discussions, and a variety of resourceful Autodesk products, as well as free software and cloud-based services that save time and cost as well as improve the overall accuracy and efficiency of the projects. 

How does it support the UAE national agenda?

The UAE national agenda has education as one of its main objectives and a key component of the greater vision. One of its primary objectives includes encouraging communities to foster enhanced educational accomplishments. The UAE government is placing a huge emphasis on developing first-rate education systems which will require smart solutions and more innovative teaching methods, and this is precisely what the Autodesk Education Community is planting – more effective, accurate and time-efficient ways to exchange knowledge and to obtain a growing learning scale.

How does the software connect to the forums you’ve mentioned – where students can get first hand opinions of industry leaders?

The Autodesk online community, as a whole, provides limitless opportunities for students to gain more knowledge than ever before. Autodesk University Middle East, for instance, is a platform for Autodesk users and students across the region to learn, connect and explore, and is used to showcase new ways that buildings, products and more are being designed, made and used, and the effect revolutionary new technology will have on this region.

Students that use Autodesk software and attend an Autodesk University event are able to take advantage and gain access to a global community of experts by learning how to use various software ranging from 3D printing, to rendering, to BIM, and a lot more – depending on whichever solution the student deems best for their project.

How are you implementing this software now? Are certain schools offering it or can individuals download it on private-use computers?

Autodesk’s software is free for students, schools as well as educators and can be used on private computers or as obligatory academic curriculums. The aim is to have it increasingly present among universities, because it can be a huge asset to design students’ knowledge and growth in the field from the very beginning of their respective programs.

More than 680 million students and educators from over 800,000 secondary and post-secondary schools in 188 countries can take advantage of free access to Autodesk’s professional software and services for use in classrooms, labs, and at home.

Furthermore, Autodesk has Authorized Training Centers in the Middle East and across the world whereby students and users can learn or enhance their skills from the most knowledgeable instructors in the region.

What do students gain from using the software that they might not be able to gain elsewhere?

One of biggest advantages of the software provided is that they give students the opportunity to develop a more in-depth understanding of the design industry and of their projects too. Autodesk has software that caters to any experience level – from Autodesk TinkerCAD for school children or beginners to FormIT, REVIT, AutoCAD and more for the seasoned professionals. Combined with all the training, guidance, discussions, lectures available both online and in-person as well as the chance to partake at numerous forums exposing them to some of the brightest minds in design and architecture students have the potential to equip themselves with the knowledge and expertise to significantly contribute to the future of making things.

To learn more about Autodesk software, click here