April 28, 2023

#026 – Alex Walzer- Transcript

Bricks and Bytes
Bricks and Bytes
#026 - Alex Walzer- Transcript
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Show Notes

Alex Walzer

So Alex, can you tell us how someone becomes so involved with research and innovation within the AEC industry and how did you get where you are now? Sure. Thanks first and foremost for the invitation. It’s great to be on this show. I’m trained as an architect. I’ve done stuff in the office. I’ve done some more site-specific tasks in this kind of role as an architect as well. It was interesting, but I thought there could be more interesting things to be discovered. And I think I also, throughout AEC, I’ve been working on this. Education dived into parametric design stuff, you know, like grasshoppers and these kind of things back in the days I love it still dream about it. And then at some point, I took a course called the Fabrication Academy or Fab Academy in a fab lab in Barcelona where we learned how to build physical stuff, and this really sparked my interest and I think laid the foundation for all I did after that. The course is called ‘how to make almost anything’ and literally, like us, you know, we can build anything today, and this is where also my research sits a little bit. I’m trying now to understand not from the technological side anymore, why and how we should build things, but basically what else beyond or besides technology is required. So these are considerations on the business model, these are like people’s stuff, right, regulations, policies, all the kind of stuff that is maybe actually not the hands-on technology stuff because I’m convinced we can build already anything today. Mm-hmm.  

So can you tell a bit more about the research itself? What are you focused on? Construction or as you said, business within the construction. Yeah, tell us. Yeah, so my research is really focused. It is a PhD research at this stage. It is really focused on understanding entrepreneurship for construction robotics. So this is basically a very niche topic in a sense, because it’s hardware specific, which is difficult and it’s in construction, which makes it double as difficult, I guess. So I’m looking at your construction startups, venture capital stuff. I’m interested in incubators, accelerators. Because of this, I’m basically currently based in Silicon Valley to be a bit more exposed to those kind of dynamics, I guess, that are happening here. So it sounds like there’s a lot of subjects within this architecture, engineering, construction in general. So how do you stay on top of this innovation? Because there’s a lot of stuff happening, as you said, in venture capital and startups. How do you stay focused? Yeah, again, I think it comes down to this kind of open innovation idea or this kind of mindset of talking to people. I’m usually sometimes the one interviewing and it’s great like just I think it has never been that interesting to work in this field. I mean, I’m also not so old, but this is a great time to work in this industry. There’s a lot of things are turning right now as we speak, so just get involved to some, you know, background research, check out Crunchbase articles, LinkedIn, I think that’s it at this stage. I’m lucky because I mean academia I guess I have access to all the stuff that happens within the schools and the research at universities and then also I can basically speak to real people outside the research lab and understand what the industry demands in a way, right? So there’s this kind of friction or this tension between the supply and demand side of innovation. So when we are constantly attacked by information from every type of social media that you use and like the internet, whatever. 

So how do you evaluate what is worth investing your time in or what is worth ignoring? That’s a good point, mate. I agree with you that there’s an overkill of information today, and we have to actually limit the sources. I mean, basically, my research is really tailored to focus on hardware, robotics, materials, and new applications for structural systems and technological systems in construction. So that’s my research lens. But as a person and as a freelance consultant and whatnot, I think, yeah, I’m still open to more, but I think topics today that you should not ignore, and that should always be part of the discussion, are sustainability and including people, like people that you work with. And so this is something I’m currently more aware of, and my attention is more tailored or focused towards those kinds of discussions that include the people, the workers, you know, and the environment. 

What strategies would you recommend if someone is thinking about embarking on a technology adoption or innovation within traditional construction? Yeah. I think get out there. You know, like, in general, visit construction sites, talk to builders, and talk to people actually doing the job every day before proposing the next new best thing as a founder. And the same goes maybe if you think about the startup venture capital world from the investor side of things – also, talk to people actually in the industry and then make better assumptions, like do due diligence, spend some time in the industry, try to build a house, just go through this process. And then I guess you’ll have a better understanding of what the stakeholders are involved in, how many transactions of information are actually happening, and where value is somewhat needed and where opportunities lie, right? In terms of the environment, the ways we produce, and the bad working conditions we have, all these are topics that you cannot ignore, but sometimes I see this ignored. 

What is your favourite subject in terms of construction technology and innovation? I think robotics is cool. I think it’s promising; automation, let’s say, as an umbrella term. I think we can build technologically, we can build anything already, like we have all the people, the knowledge, the means to produce whatever needs to be done. However, I don’t believe in this kind of full automation narrative today. I don’t see it apply so soon. This is something I would then just maybe focus more towards something maybe human-robot collaborative or something as an environment that I think is very promising. And then you could think of all the other applications that could fit in that kind of narrative, such as mixed realities, approaches, like all these kinds of things to make construction more fun. 

Okay, so speaking of robotics, what would be the process for people to implement more robots onto the construction processes? And what sort of timescales are we talking about? You said that you don’t believe in automation of everything, but there will be a connection between humans and robots at some point. So can you explain a little bit more? I think when it comes to the timeline, I wish I wouldn’t have to say 10 years, but I think it’s at least 10 years away. If you think about venture capital, for example, cycles, I mean, there are fund runs for at least seven to 10 years. So will the funds that are up today, investing in technology, robotic technologies, for example, change the industry by the end of this fund cycle? I doubt it actually, and also projects take around five years or so. So I don’t think it’s coming that soon. 

So yeah, I think it’s a bit further out than we would think. I’m sorry, what was the first question I forgot? How do you see the transition from traditional construction when currently we have people working on sites onto the world where we have more robots than humans? I’m not sure if there will be more robots than humans, but maybe it’s like a team scenario or something, like a multiplayer game or something where people share tasks with machines, and robots come in different forms. They come in terms of software robotics, assistants and so on, and they come in as physical embodiments of these kinds of robotics. 

Can you explain this concept of multiplayer game because that sounds interesting? I think this is something I was talking with Owen last time or something about, for example, I like to play video games on the console and I also do 3D design designing buildings. What do you play? Usually like zombie games or something, apocalyptic stuff. Anyway, whatever comes in handy and is available right now. But just seeing, so there’s like whenever you play a game, this is very, there’s a good incentive to play, right? It’s very positive and nice. And actually, I pay for the games. I pay for the console too. But then as soon as I have to do BIM work, CED work, I have to be paid for this work. So I’m just thinking, what is necessary to turn this around from the incentive perspective so that planning, for example, becomes more like gaming because we’re building environments? And I don’t know, it’s the same basically for me. It’s the same methods, same tools, you know, sometimes used for building a game versus building a building and then using it or sharing it with others. Because when you think about this, I feel that there are few young people interested in construction, as construction is not very appealing. And there is the concept of dirty construction or, you know, it’s called on-site and this kind of stuff. And there’s no gamification. Yeah, it’s not that you can win something or have fun on site. So that you might have a pointer. Exactly. So this is one very big topic, right? Like how can we attract, like we are losing workforce in this industry. This is known to anybody who can type in a sentence in Google or chat TVT, construction industry is losing people, right? It’s very dangerous. I think it’s the one, it’s the most dangerous industry to work in with the most deaths per year or something. It’s bad, yes. So then as you said, on-site, I also see potential for gamification in terms of making physical activities more enjoyable. I had this observation. 

Can you give an example? Last year, maybe, or two years ago, I went to the gym, right? So, and then my gym was being refurbished by a construction crew. And basically, the gym was still open at this time, and the construction was also ongoing. So it’s not optimal for both, but basically, both parties could continue their thing. And so both people go into the same entrance, me as a user and the workers doing their work, whereas I’m paying for doing unnecessary physical activity in a sense, and they are doing necessary physical activities in the same space. So I’m just thinking in terms of crossfit and so on, like why not make construction cool and hand out protein shakes and stuff like this? Sounds like a crazy idea. It’s so simple, right? It would be so cool. So basically what you’re talking about is utilising the energy. When someone talks about energy, energy is kind of everything. It’s our vital energy or we use fuel to get energy. So it’s basically utilising the energy in a much better way. Yes, conserving energy or applying energy where it is basically required, and energy in terms of computational resources, brain work, physical energy, right? I think that really, like if you track down energy value or something, you would find very interesting insights into how construction could be built up in a different way. And maybe, sorry, one thing I wanted to add to the point before is that, yeah, we can do the automation kind of thing.  

Many companies today or technologies proposed just automate the tasks that we have at hand today. But in terms of robotics or we call it digital fabrication in our research centre, this also gives you the opportunity to rethink processes, right? So you don’t have to automate the existing one, like putting, I don’t know, like an example is to put a brick somewhere that is made for human hands. If you make it with a machine, there’s no need to make it human-hand sized or something, right? Also in terms of weight and so on. It’s a bit weird, like a vegan sausage, right? It doesn’t really make sense, but it reminds us of what we have been used to before. But I think in general, we should maybe… Beyond meat. Exactly. We should invent new food types and new categories. Okay, we’ll chat about digital fabrication in a sec. I just wanted to touch on one more thing in terms of robotics and VCs, because you mentioned that the average round is five to seven years. 

 So how do you see the VC landscape in robotics? And interesting companies that innovate within the space, if you can give some examples. VCs are investing in robotics, but these are usually not the same investors investing in robotics in construction or construction in general. So, I think this has to be divided somewhat. There are approaches coming up, but the capital expenditures are so high for this type of innovation that it’s not the most promising, and it doesn’t promise the best return on investment at this stage, right, to go for construction or in general? I think that maybe other sectors where robotics can yield better returns more quickly, like industries that are already productised and industrialised. And whereas in construction, we have, we are currently fighting a lot of little fires, right? We’re trying to innovate all, and it’s difficult. It’s very difficult. I like to maybe make a metaphor currently. So if you think back, this is something I prepared, I didn’t just make it up. If you think back in time to how audio technology was transitioning, right? I think architecture and the architectural processes, construction processes by themselves are currently transitioning. So if you think back, we had vinyl discs, you know, like these big discs and gramophones that you have to crank with your arm at a certain speed or something to play the music. And then, you know, the industrial revolution and so on happened, probably two of them in between, and we came up with music cassettes, which are these audio tapes. And then we went to Compact Discs. We’re actually, I think as a metaphor, we’re currently transitioning from the period from audio cassette to Compact Discs. And there was this weird moment where basically you could plug this kind of adapter that is like an audio cassette that has an aux cable attached, so you can then put your CD player, like your Walkman or something with your headphone jack, into your existing machine. We’re in this moment right now. 

And if you then think about innovation in construction, maybe now it’s getting interesting. This is a weird story. But maybe this component could be interesting. If you then think about innovation in construction today, including robotics or not, I think you have to question whether, like, who is the cassette player? Like, do you want to be the cassette player? Do you want to be the recording studio? Who represents this kind of compact discs that are just coming up now, the new stuff, right? Who’s making those players, but also who is already working on MP3s? And are the customers ready for Spotify? And who is still in love with gramophones? So these are the kind of discussions I have in my mind right now. Super exciting. 

So, using your music analogy, how does the construction look like in the moment when you can transfer a music file from my iPhone to your iPhone through the air? What’s the equivalent to the construction state if it happens? Good question. I think it’s basically fully linked design to production. And probably it has some kind of hints of AI or something in there where people just don’t have to do so much work anymore. They don’t have to spend so many hours on redoing stuff that has been done a thousand times before in buildings. So it requires as a prerequisite the notion of characterisation. We have to talk about new business models, deliver buildings as a service, if you will. And then I think it enables all the other innovation that is maybe now, as you just described, more centred, maybe from the consumer or user perspective, right? But there’s a lot of infrastructure piping we have to build in the back. And as an industry structure, we have to move away from this project-based notion into one that is more around product or process-oriented. And then I think it should be very easy. 

We should not have floor plans. We should not do this kind of stuff. The permissions should be automated. We should implement, I’m dropping a lot of buzzwords today, some kind of blockchain for the things that need to be transparent and trustworthy, and add some augmented reality for when you need it. That’s the future I think maybe we might have in 10 to 20 years. So you said new business models. So the way I see the future, which currently doesn’t exist in construction, there’s completely no B2C businesses which can provide full scope solutions for problems. There’s absolutely zero. So I see it in a way that the customer, who is not a technical person, they can design something which is compliant with works just themselves, or they can print something themselves without using other people or heavy machinery or special equipment. What are your thoughts? 

This is very important, but this will take a lot of time. I think there are some good reasons why the construction industry is this kind of, and maybe B2C or something, right? If you are familiar with this or your audience with this kind of terms, there are some liabilities we have to think about, but there are also opportunities for these new modes of facing, let’s say ownership, insurance, like so many topics actually come to mind here. I think you need to establish a different framework for the customer journey, right? You need marketplaces, you need all these kinds of things, you need some incentives to actually do this kind of stuff. Don’t underestimate the role of the real estate developers in this discussion because it’s not only just the user or the customer buying their house or flat on an app. This is going to be, I’m not sure. I like this thought, right? It would be nice to configure this and then buy it, but there are so many other things that are running in the back that are necessary to think of. 

So let’s move on to digital fabrication. Can you explain this a little bit more? Yes. Fabrication is a term that I think can be explained quickly in linking design to production. So maybe people in manufacturing are familiar with this term of CAD/CAM or computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing. And in this case, we are trying to link the design stuff with the fabrication production stuff. And it’s basically linked also upstream. So you can actually design things that you can also build. It sounds very simple, but it can be tricky sometimes, right? 

So maybe to unpack it, the work that the designer is designing something and this can be in an IFC file or like Revit file or any other type of file, and then it gets onto the fabrication, for example, and then it’s fabricated. How is digital fabrication different? Well, the industry is smart and operational for hundreds of years. They know what to do, and to some degree, it makes sense, right? It’s again, good if it has a lot of stops. The flow should go slowly so many people can have their eyes on the thing. I still think that there’s an opportunity to improve this by just automation and so on. And yes, what you say is true. Independent of the platform you use or the data format and so on technology you use, there is an opportunity for digital fabrication to basically become something where these building phases, project phases are not so separate anymore. So this is more like an MP3 approach or something in the metaphor I said before, one that basically links and is the platform, the substructure for more innovation to be built on top. Got you. Yeah, so consolidating the processes with smaller intervals or fewer intervals between the processes so it goes smoothly. 

Okay, what other technologies excite you in construction that we haven’t mentioned? So, apart from all the weird metaphors I did with gaming, cross-stream, cross-fit audio, I think that this industry struggles, for sure, to some degree, for some stakeholders in some periods in the process with a lack of trust and transparency. So I think that blockchain will have, in some shape or form, a big impact on this industry, maybe more on the real estate or facility management side of things, but maybe also in planning and construction. Ideally, these are all linked together, right? Ideally, digital fabrication actually goes into facility management, buildings, rebuilding stuff, right? You should not be focused only on the construction phase, but I think most lives today. So we need, I say, life cycle much more. We need to start measuring things also in research, but also in practice, we should know how many calories the building has. If we go back to the fitness paradigm, like how many calories does your house have? Like we should market it. What do you mean? You know, like if you buy food, you basically know how much fat is in there, right? And so maybe the concrete is the fat. But it’s necessary, right? Only if you want to be aware of it. True. People usually don’t want to be aware. Exactly. Because there’s no penalty yet, right? But there’s also an incentive to live healthily, right? It feels good to actually go for a run. So there’s some, I get your point. 

And then maybe other things that are important to think of, I think this mixed reality approach is very promising. If we think about human-robot collaboration and teams, this is good, you know? So we can move away from floor plans and communication errors. And then, of course, something we haven’t discussed, I think, right now is the fastest course right now is prefabrication. And this is just, man, move stuff from the construction site. Like why do we build, you don’t build cars on the street? It’s wild to think of. So build it in a controlled environment where people are in better working conditions. And then maybe also implement some more automation there to assist them to be more productive. Gamify the production somehow. So, yeah, this actually, it’s crazy when you think about this, like every product that you buy anywhere, it’s kind of, you know how it’s going to look like. You know what features it will have. You know what’s the texture of it. The price? Yeah, you know the price, you know the warranty, everything. When we talk about buildings, it’s kind of, okay, so the CGI looks like that, it probably going to look like that. And it turns out sometimes, especially in the market that I work in most, medium residential and commercial, it’s just completely different. It’s just, that’s crazy. Yeah. Yeah. There’s a lot of room, there’s a lot of opportunities still there, a lot of room for improvements. How do we get there? Coming back to the initial statement I made, I think it’s like open innovation. Share ideas, be open to talk to people, plug innovations together in a way, right? Like Lego bricks or something, put stuff together that exists out there and ask your consumers how they perceive this kind of stuff. Iterate back early and frequently, and that’s it. I think it’s very easy. I don’t understand why people don’t really do it. We’re going to start Bricson Bites Open Innovation University. Awesome. I’m subscribed. Let’s go. 

Okay, so you’re doing the research currently and you also have your consulting business. Yeah. So what do you do in your consulting business and how do you provide value? So, you did the background research on me, good. Look, this came out of an emergency or something. Let’s say it’s not my first PhD I’m attempting to do and so there was some situation where in between I had to bridge some time and then basically it was more demand side requirement, so the companies contacted me saying like, “Hey, we have this kind of research project or innovation stuff. We’re working on; what are your thoughts? Can you help us?” And then, basically because of these kind of a lot of inquiries, I basically just started to work as a consultant, that is like more an independent freelance kind of person working on several projects at a time. Not right now because I’m focusing more on the PhD side of things, but there are times where I’m just doing full-time consulting too. 

So, how I provide value, I guess it is more around, I mean, what I do as a service are market reports, I revise pitch decks, I help universities or anybody with grant applications. I look at the technologies, I can look a bit at the code base, the factory setup, I can basically go there and see, demo that kind of stuff they’re trying to build if it’s hardware related. Yeah, I have helped hire staff so far. I also, actually, I thought I was more an investment advisor in a way. I would help either the VCs or the startups or third parties, whatever, to make investment decisions. But I also made a lot of divestment decisions or helped them make these decisions because I can’t take the decisions. I can only suggest them. Divesting, maybe for the listeners, is the opposite of investing. So you can invest in innovation, but if your innovation goes bad, you should divest and you should maybe sell your assets and you should reallocate your team. This is important because you have to know when to double down and when to basically pull out of an investment. So that was that. Yeah, I make introductions. Some of them have actually resulted in new startups being formed and probably life changing. And I hope through the good to be seen. And in general, I’m basically, I’m just trying to, you know, be very open-minded, very like lateral thinking, the kind of, you know, the six thinking hats or something. Anyway, so I’m more the green, open thinker, creative stuff, plugging stuff together, in turn, forever trying to accelerate innovation, connecting the dots exactly, exactly. You know, like marking the dots on the map, giving them names, finding out who the stakeholders behind are, who are the competitors, who could be potential partners for, depending on who the customer would be, and then basically just try to reduce the risk by just putting myself in. 

So, as a researcher, what can you tell us about the role of education and training? Man, this is important. Maybe something that, as I’ve been listening to your podcast, there are some notions, but I think we should emphasise more on the future of our industry and the future people, the young people coming into this industry, or leaving the industry at worst. We need to make it more interesting already as early as possible, which might be in vocational or higher education. So, I’d like to say, I spend a lot of time in this kind of world, right? As a PhD student, I’m basically splitting my time between doing research, teaching, delivering some sort of education, but also I’m still a student myself, right? That’s really nice. So, I have basically many goggles on. 

And again, open innovation, I think, could be an approach here in education as well to make it more interesting, more playful. And I am currently doing a visiting stint here at Stanford University. And I think what I can already take away from the few months I’ve spent here is that in an environment like this, and I think this is a very good model for education, it’s very, it’s a little hierarchical. So, it’s more like everybody’s on their own, like on the same level, including the students. They do a lot of flipped classroom experiments where it’s not the teacher delivering the speech. It’s called Ideal Meritocracy, I think, as Ray Dalio speaks about it within his hedge fund Bridgewater Associates. That’s that everyone is equal and everyone can give feedback, same level. Exactly. 

So, holocracies have a limit to how many people can be involved in that. But I think a classroom or a company size, a small organisation can really benefit from both kinds of things. Hierarchies are necessary once you have built an established organisation that requires it. But I think you should not start from that. And we should definitely not do this in education, right? Where we don’t really, we should not do it. Also, I think what Stanford University does really well is they work actually on real projects with real stakeholders outside, so they don’t invent new problems or something. So this is more, again, understanding demand pull instead of aiming for a technology push where academia pushes out innovation and solutions that are still looking for a problem. I think that there’s merit in actually doing the opposite. 

Also, like the homework and the exams here are very interesting and this is a model I will take home with me in my mind. They have takeaway exams, stuff like this. I’ve never heard of this in, I’m like from the, I’m living and spending my time in the Austrian Switzerland, I’ve never heard about this. Takeaway exams, take-home exams, group exams. All the classes are basically remote. As you can choose how you take your class, it’s up to you, whatever your conditions are in life, whatever your situation is with work, family, you are able to actually take the class independently and not reliant on your teacher’s schedule or something. And also flexible workspaces. And the idea that failure is an option, failure is actually necessary to learn and to take something away instead of only aiming for success, which is what we like to have, I think, in the German-speaking world a lot. 

So, I think it’s also about raising awareness about entrepreneurship in education, so that students, like engineers and architects, are aware of the fact that they could also build their own company or join a company. They don’t necessarily have to join a big corporation or work at universities, but they should also be enabled in actually following the lead. If they find something interesting, I think we can do a better job in supporting them. From my time at school or university, I remember that we were bombarded with lots of memorising exercises and not much about thinking of how to solve problems. Yeah, man. Maria Teresia at school, yeah, I know. Old school. Man, this is 20 years old. 

Yeah, so only when you kind of get onto the job, then you start thinking in a creative way to solve real-world problems. That’s my experience at least. There’s also opportunity here for, I’m kind of maybe advocating here that open innovation a lot. It also comes in the form of design thinking and also with other tools that you can use, like Scrum and Kanban, and these kinds of things that come from the software development ecosystem where you basically work through projects in a very different but also very agile and organisation in mind kind of way. That’s also very useful. So design thinking is great. Spend more time on the problem side, double down when you know it’s on the solutions. Okay. 

I think we’ll move to off-topic questions. So obviously, you are a person who thinks differently and very in-depth in terms of construction technology in the future. Where do you take your inspirations from? Good point. I think the maker and fab lab environment is really inspiring to me, where people just meet. It doesn’t matter what your background is, and ideally, you should not talk to people who have the same background as you. Instead, you should actually cross-pollinate with your ideas and imagine, you know, I know what I know, you know what you know, and somebody else knows whatever they know, listeners maybe, but imagine we all know what the other one knows to some degree, then you know, 200% of what you know. So this is like multiplying, and there’s no limit. I think this is what helps me a lot. 

I think I also am very active in other communities like YouTube videos, Discords, high-frequency interactions. This kind of stuff helps me to see the light in the dark tunnel. Yeah, I love that. This year I probably did like six, maybe seven conferences associated with blockchain all around the world really. And what is amazing is that everyone is there in finance, usually or some like investment in finance business. And me being in construction, you don’t know much about finance, right? So trying to explain what you do and when you listen to other people saying what they do, it’s just so intimidating because you don’t know the industry really. So this is so stretching in a positive way. 

Yeah, but look at the construction industry from an economist perspective. This is one of the larger industrial sectors. It’s deep tech, I don’t know, it’s basically responsible for 10 to 15% of global GDP. It employs millions of people. It does very big transactions. These are the biggest assets we build. These assets need to be financed for, they need to be insured, protected, maybe destroyed at some point, ideally not, but usually they are at some point. So there’s a lot of value, there’s a lot of energy storage and that, and information in that. So, I think it’s a valuable industry, and the finance people will wake up to that. And I think the real estate and prop tech industry that understands that, I think the climate tech industry also understands certain aspects, maybe needs to think a bit more and do a better job. But maybe it’s also not the responsibility of today’s companies. It’s maybe where tomorrow’s companies actually come in. So, before we move on to the final question, Orwen’s favourite question, I wanted to ask you about your favourite book or books, which can be related to construction, innovation, business, whatever you have in mind. 

So, I don’t spend a lot of time reading construction books. I don’t even know if construction books per se exist. But currently, I’ve been in Silicon Valley now for about four months or so, and I’m reading a book right now, it’s on the floor, sorry, it’s called The Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener. It’s pretty funny because she explains a bit about her experience living in such a high growth, high risk, winner-takes-it-all environment with a very humourous way of telling the story. It’s amazing, for sure. But it’s also a bit funny. So, I’m not going to spoil it for anyone, but yeah, The Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener. It’s amazing. Okay. So, if you have an unlimited budget, where would you spend your money on or allocate capital? Awesome. I love this question. So, look, I think before I touched on the kind of the what is basically robotics in construction, maybe the entrepreneurship around it, the business models, the new companies and firms. This is the what, the how. I think I mentioned with open innovation a lot, right? That this is basically, I think, how we could actually, it is the hidden source, the secret source that people should use, and what else is there? Maybe the why, because construction is big and can be better, so that’s the why. And then maybe one other thing is the who, we talked about students, education, the workforce of the future, how to not lose the people we have in construction today and how to acquire more, to make it more appealing to young people. 

And now we, I think, get to the point of the where. Is where I would park the money, I would build one or a network of maker spaces that are tailored to construction, you know, where people like me or us, anybody who’s listening probably, can go to, can meet new people, maybe meet their co-founders, maybe meet some kind of investors if they need it, have access to machines, can mix their sustainable concrete materials, just a space where you can go and learn and learn together as a cohort. I think that’s missing right now, and this is where factory, innovation hub, lab, maker space, call it whatever. And that’s, I think, missing in construction tech today. Bricks and bytes open university. Man, I’m subscribed. Let’s go. Yeah. 

Okay, Alex. So, we touched on plenty of subjects, architecture, multiplayer games, fabrication. Thanks very much for that. So, if people want to find out more about you, where they can find you. Awesome. Yes. So, for sure, LinkedIn, Alex Weitzel. That’s like WALZER, I think you will just find it somewhere in the description. I also started recently a Discord, which I also share the link with you guys. It’s a contact Discord, which again is like more the digital forum or like an online platform where people can, I guess, maybe exchange ideas. I’m also posting jobs there and stuff like this and news and interesting research methods and design thinking stuff. So, I hope that’s useful. 

Yeah. And in general, anyway, to whoever who is listening here, if you feel like you’re not in your role that you have right now. Take it as your superpower because everybody has their own kind of professional strengths, but you can also team up with other people that you haven’t met or you’re not aware today that they exist and they’re out there. So, I hope that maybe this kind of discord community can help facilitate some introductions that can happen bilaterally without me getting involved actually. And yes, also spend some more time asking why go on construction site ask why. And that’s it. 

Okay, Alex, thank you very much. Thanks, guys. Thanks so much for tuning in to this episode of the Bricks and Bites podcast. If you are enjoying the show, please feel free to rate, subscribe, and leave a review wherever you listen to your podcasts. We really appreciate it, and we’ll catch you in the next episode. 

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