We continue our journey deeper into the built environment in episode 5 of Excavate, Beyond Brick & Mortar and speak with Daniel Hall, Assistant Professor of Innovative and Industrial Construction at ETH, Zurich. Dr. Hall recently obtained his PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University and is an advocate of the innovation and entrepreneurship that is sweeping the industry.
LISA was happy to discover that he points to LEGO’s as fanning the flames of his fascination with building:
“I was in love with LEGOs! I probably played Legos more than any other toy in my youth. The idea of taking nothing and creating a building or creating a city formed a lot of my early experiences and it’s what motivated me to want to be involved with construction in some way.”
When asked about why he would encourage a career in this industry, Dr. Hall shared his optimistic view of the sweeping challenges and opportunities available to young people looking to have meaningful careers while solving complex problems:
“The construction industry is undergoing a digital transformation right now. We see it on the design side with Building Information Management (BIM) and Virtual Design Construction (VDC.) We’re seeing the use of robotics and new industrialized methods both in the factory and on the construction site.”
From his perspective, digitalization is paving the way to create a better world:
“There is definitely a need for people who can come in and bring new lines of thinking, to code those solutions, to implement those solutions and to work with existing businesses to make those solutions a reality. As a society we face a huge challenge and that challenge is with the energy that we use and the way that we house and provide shelter for citizens of our country and for the citizens of the world.”
As with all of our interviews, Dr. Hall points to the sense of pride in being involved with a project that is physically standing in the world. To be able to say, “I built that” is an enduring and magical legacy that is unique to the construction industry.
LISA can’t help but wonder what marvels the next generation will point to as their legacy.
Excavate, Beyond Brick & Mortar showcases the stories of influencers who are shaping the future of the built environment and flourishing in the industry. We believe that by seeing the possibilities, new talent can envision and create their future.
We hope you enjoy our exploration of the many facets and personalities in the built environment.
Connect With Daniel Hall
ASSITANT PROFESSOR OF INNOVATIVE & INDUSTRIAL CONSTRUCTION, ETH, ZURICH