Announcing BILTna Closing Keynote: Sabin Howard

RTC Events is pleased to announce sculptor Sabin Howard as the BILTna closing keynote speaker (register here). Sabin is a master artist and sculptor of the figurative form. His art is representative of a classicist discipline yet modernist method, experience and sensibility.

Please take a moment and familiarize yourself with the work of Sabin here: www.sabinhoward.com. Having had the pleasure of conversing with Sabin over the last few months, I’ve been uniquely impressed with Sabin’s rigor of experience and thought. Not all opinions are created equal (sorry kids). After spending more than 50,000hrs drawing and creating figurative art, he’s become reflective to the point of a caution conclusion.

Sabin considers the automation of aesthetics a road to making horrible art quickly. How does this relate to BILT? We think it’s about the importance of questioning our suppositions as people that – without exaggeration – lead the world in the embrace and implementation of new technology.

  • Should we be take caution in embracing technology beyond a point of diminished returns?
  • Why do we rush to embrace tools often better marketed than carefully developed?
  • Do we understand the importance differences between being end users vs. shareholders?
  • Are you the customer when you buy a company’s software as a tool or the software company’s stock as an investment?

Three gin and tonics later and I deeply wonder if new technology can be embraced without letting something else go; something important. Can we take the seminal and essential with us as we move “forward”?  Are we naive to think that something is not gained without something else lost? I was once casually and bluntly reminded by someone in the design software space, “We don’t have customers; the reseller has customers. We have shareholders.” Ouch.

Seriously people – am I the only person in the BILT community watching Westworld?

So after the better part of a week of being immersed in building and construction technologies whilst willingly patting each other on the back and convincing ourselves that scripts, shortcuts and algorithms make for better architecture, perhaps the following should give pause.

Sabin’s growing observation is that technical automation is becoming a slippery slope to creating horrible art – and by extension architecture. In this 2018 Art & Culture Lecture held at the New York Academy of Art, Sabin deftly weaves through the role of technology, process, human form, story telling, being business-minded and the conflict between artist and client.

The format will likely be more of an informal discussion as fireside chat. The goal not to be controversial for the sake of controversy – but to provide a thoughtful and experienced counterpoint. A reflective bookend.

Therefore RTC Events is incredibly pleased to have Sabin Howard close this years conference. As a modern master and classicist sculptor, Sabin seems particularly fitting considering the words of the Greek poet Hesiod (c.700 bc): “Observe due measure; moderation is best in all things.”

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