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Practice-Based Research: John Cerone

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John Cerone
principal and director of Virtual Design & Construction, SHoP Architects

Lightning presentation
9:15 am - 9:30 am
Digital Delivery

Panel discussion
10:15 am - 11:45 am
Ownership + Risk

How do you define practice-based research?
SHoP defines practice-based research as applied research and development in response to active constraints. It is a continuously running loop observing current process deficiencies, overlay of existing and emerging technology and trends, forming a hypothesis for an idealized flow, rapid proof-of-concept experimentation and robust development and augmentation of tools and solutions.

What is the biggest barrier to practice-based research?
For us, the biggest challenge is industry inertia. Transformation from conventional practice requires behavioral change, and the collaborative team is so large, that it is hard to move the needle. Solutions often require transparency in communication -- conventional contractual models are not conducive to experimentation and are not set up to reward efficiency and innovation. Additionally, appropriation of effort fee is often not aligned with scopes of work that best influence process. With an often intangible return on investment, it can be difficult to justify studies and stay hungry for new solutions, falling back on conventional approaches.

What is the value of practice-based research?
We see the greatest value in the fact that practice-based research provides direct results. Responses to problems are not hypothetical, solutions are born out of direct challenges, and the result is applicable technology. There are enormous efficiencies to be had in the AEC industry, and new ways of working that are more effective (and more fun).

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John Cerone is a Principal who leads SHoP’s Virtual Design and Construction teams, including all technology visioning initiatives and the development of bespoke technology tools. John is recognized internationally as a leader in exploring the future uses of technology in design and construction. He currently represents SHoP at the Design Futures Council, as well as leading our work with Dassault Systèmes as part of a transdisciplinary group that includes Boeing and Tesla. His work at SHoP includes a lead role in developing the technologies behind the success of the Barclays Center, the VDC-driven delivery of the Botswana Innovation Hub, and ongoing technology and exhibitions project at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York.