Most of us today will be thinking about their personal remembrances of 9/11. For me, I had just left a job in Manhattan to move to Ann Arbor to start grad school. My wife stayed behind to finish up her job at the Federal Reserve before joining me. On that day she was on the last PATH train into the World Trade Center after the first plane hit the North Tower. Thankfully, she was able to escape without injury. Also, she worked right next to possibly the safest spot in downtown Manhattan that day: the Federal Reserve vault. She was lucky that day, and as we all know, many were not.
At that time Revit Technologies was still a small start up. Fast forward just about three years and Revit was the primary tool being used by SOM to design and document the Freedom Tower. I know there was, and still is, a lot of politics surrounding the re-design of Ground Zero. I also know there was a lot pain felt* by the team using Revit for what remains to this day one of the largest projects ever attempted in Revit. Putting all of this aside, there was a palpable sense of purpose and pride in their contributions to the larger effort. I bring this up because as I reflect on the past 10 years it is easy to focus only on the darkness of the events of 9/11 and the wars and destruction that have ensued. However, it is because of you: the architects, engineers, builders and technologists of the world, and by your acts of building that I have hope. Whether it is with our tools, or others, or a simple pencil on paper - you continue to design and build. Towers. Churches. Synagogues. Mosques. Hospitals. Orphanages. Schools. Deploy-able emergency shelters. It is with this simple gesture and many complex actions that you are literally building the future. For this reason, I wanted to take time to on this day to honor and thank all those involved with the act of building. We are (I think I can speak for my colleagues at Autodesk as well) immensely proud to support you in your efforts to design and build. You are more than customers to us. You are partners; comrades armed with whatever technology you can muster to design and build amazing buildings and structures that allow people to learn, teach, heal, work, create, govern, worship, and live. Every time I speak with you and see the work that you are doing I always leave inspired. So as we honor the memories of those that fell on 9/11/2001 we also look forward and together continue to build.
* I spent time in 2006 with the team as they were finishing up DD. We were researching problems related to performance, particularly related to worksharing. We documented a fair number of 20+ minute saves to central. Side note: this research led directly to the Worksharing Monitor and indirectly to Revit Server and the latest worksharing enhancements.