Building the Design Foundation: Pillar 3

By Kate
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The DS Design Studio is not just about Design Image and Design R&D Solutions. While we’ve talked about Design DNA within Dassault Systèmes, and the 3D software design solution for the design community, DS Design Studio’s activity is wide enough to require two additional foundational pillars.

Pillar 3: Design Experience:

For a product’s design to be fully understood and intelligently modified, it’s helpful to place it in its real context, even at the embryonic stage. By starting your product design in 3D and placing it into a 3D environment (including, virtually of course, the objects, architectures, ergonomics, and people that will be using the product), designers can get a sense early-on of what works and doesn’t.

As I mentioned in the DS Design Studio mission post, the philosophy of design experience is about “usage scenarios, or human needs and desires, and spirals to creative problem solving, the design of products, products within our environment, environments composing our experiences, and our experiences within our real lives.”

We see a lot of architecture designers placing their buildings in 3D contexts representing the neighborhoods, towns, or natural environments that will serve as home-sweet-home to the structures themselves. And inversely, they’re filling the interior of these structures with 3D representations of the objects, decoration and people that will fill them. The Weburbanist blog features some gorgeous and thought provoking examples of these in its 3D Farm Tower post.

DS Design Studio promotes the usage of 3D environments, objects and scenarios as a powerful Design Experience context for design reviews. The idea is to create a lifelike experience environment for the products under design.

From, designers can download thousands of 3D objects to mix into their Design Experience scenarios. For example, today I looked under “furniture,” and there are 391models showing. Eventually these 3D objects will become “smart,” meaning they’ll include behaviors that will allow you to set them into action within your Design Experience scenario.

Tools that designers can use to create various environments for their beloved products-under-design include 3DVIA Virtools, a solution used by the gaming community but also more and more by industrials, and 3DVIA Shape (similar to Google Sketch-up). We can even imagine that more and more design reviews will take place in immersive VR caves where designers and clients can really participate in the virtual design scenarios and “test” the products. I’ve read that Jaguar is already doing this.

VR caves are amazing and I can’t wait to try the new one at DS Campus, but there’s an alternative to “entering the matrix” that provides some exciting design review possibilities. Now you can run, jump and roll around in 3D virtual worlds– literally. Sound spacey? You can catch a glimpse of how in the below video.

Here’s a closer look at the VR backpack you saw in the video:

Design experiencers simply put on the VR backpack (& viewer), step into the dark star/hamster cage, and then can begin travelling in a 3DVIA Virtools powered world. And guess who designed the VR backpack?



Building the Design Foundation, Pillars 1 & 2

By Kate
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Recently I wrote about DS Design Studio’s mission and how it complements Dassault Systèmes’ mission to help people build a better environment for the future. But beyond a mission, there’s everyday practice. We now know what DS Design Studio stands for, but what do they do?

A pillar is on one hand a fundamental principle or practice. In architectural terms, it’s a “tall vertical cylindrical structure standing upright and used to support a structure.” (Merci,!) I like to think of a pillar as a foundation. And by looking at the DS Design Studio pillars, we can better understand what they’re actually doing. The first two pillars lay the foundation:

Pillar 1: Design Image:

Direct beneficiaries of this pillar include the group Dassault Systèmes. For example, Design Image is about impregnating Design DNA throughout Dassault Systèmes’ internal ecosystem. DS Design Studio acts as our in-house design studio for anything from event posters, corporate presentations to aesthetic choices for our new DS Campus. For a R&D company to have and access its own design studio demonstrates our dedication to Design, but we’ve got to breathe it to live and evangelize it. Have you started to notice signs of our Design DNA?

Pillar 2: Design R&D Solutions:

I’ve blogged about grafting designers, their philosophies and processes onto the PLM Spiral of Innovation. A good example of this falls under the Design R&D Solutions pillar. DS Design Studio is working with our software developers to further integrate designer-specific functional needs within our 3D virtual design solution, CATIA. The studio is also working with developers to ensure that the software interface and ergonomics communicate intuitively with designers.

Making traditional CAD software designer-user-friendly helps designers do what they do best, create, rather than getting stuck figuring out how to create. I imagine the ideal situation where a designer is working on CATIA but so caught up in their designing flow that they don’t even notice they’re working with a 3D software program. (This is how it is for me when I type; I’m focused on what I want to say, not where to find the “a” or “k” on the keyboard.)

Another key component of this pillar is visualization. Anne talks about a designer’s mission being to “make the essential visible.” DS Design Studio works with the CATIA R&D team to augment the designer-pertinent visualization parameters into CATIA. For example, designers can execute “artistic photo shoots” within CATIA to prepare visuals for customer proposals. They adjust the “lighting” and “camera” to shoot pictures and video animations.

Age of Design

From my take, we’re putting all these efforts into Design because it’s a great competitive differentiator. In an age where we’re overwhelmed with product choices, whether we’re talking about coffee makers or cars, good design, i.e. one made for positive human experiences, is what gets people to buy. Don’t studies show that we make emotionally-charged purchase decisions, no matter how much we’ve researched a product? What and when we buy often boils down to how we feel. And Design is a powerful emotion stirrer. . .

Stay tuned for DS Design Studio pillars 3 &4, Design Experience and Design Ecosystem. If you haven’t already, why not subscribe to lazily receive blog posts in your email inbox, RSS feed or Twitter?



Mission Design, Follow the Spiral

By Kate
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Bernard Charlès, our president and CEO, is always talking about the Spiral of Innovation. At Dassault Systèmes, it’s integrated everywhere and tooted as a key to creating incredible products, keeping customers and investors happy. In fact, we believe in the Spiral of Innovation so much that we asked architects to integrate several symbolic spirals throughout our new global headquarters, DS Campus. (I’ll let this marinate in your imagination for now; more later on in another blog post.)

So you may not be surprised to learn that the DS Design Studio philosophy (and therefore mission) is also based on a spiral.

The Spiral of Innovation and the Spiral of Design (inspired by the Golden Spiral ) are kind of like siblings with the same parents and genetic makeup. A double helix is a spiral too, and doesn’t it determine identity?

But before I go into the Spiral of Design, let’s look at the official DS Design Studio mission statement:

“Creative people boosting innovation for design excellence.”

Short, sweet, and notice that innovation word.

A concrete way to boost “innovation for design excellence” is to bring designers into the 3D fold, i.e. have them design in a language/medium that will serve as the basis for a product’s genesis as it circulates though the industrial lifecycle. Design intention is easier achieved because it’s innately embedded into the virtually designed product, eliminating interpretation mistakes.

Bernard Charlès talked about this last year when he appointed Anne as vice president of design experience:

“Our 3D solutions are the ideal medium for designers, where they can intuitively and freely play with concepts, and then have them perfectly realized through 3D PLM. Design Experience and PLM are strategies that naturally fit together and will benefit all actors in the product ecosystem.”

In a way (hang with me here), this grafts designers, their philosophy and processes onto the PLM Spiral of Innovation. For design excellence to really shine, we need to “superimpose” the design spiral to the PLM spiral.

Anne gets excited when she talks about the Spiral of Design, how it starts with usage scenarios, or human needs and desires, and spirals to creative problem solving, the design of products, products within our environment, environments composing our experiences, and our experiences within our real lives. Think design experience with, as Anne likes to say, “human at the core,” verses product features and engineering details. This is the philosophical layer of the Spiral of Design.

There is also a practical layer to the Spiral of Design, the design process. Imagine, create, share and experience. Looking holistically at the Spiral of Design, it begins with “human at the core” and ends in human experience.

I just checked our latest Spiral of Innovation and am happy to see the Design elements have already made their way to the official slide. Now referred to as the “Innovation Integration Process Centered on Virtual Experience,” it starts with human experience and then moves to design, simulate, produce and ends with human experience, with management ( i.e. management of ecological requirements) in the spiral’s center.

I’m feeling a little spiraled out now, aren’t you? ;-)

To get a more practical look at what the DS Design Studio is about, in my next post I’ll start to examine its ‘four pillars’ and invite you to stay tuned.

Here are the four pillars we’ll examine:

• Design Image
• Design R&D Solutions
• Design Experience
• Design Ecosystem

By the way, I’m not and don’t claim to be a Design expert; the way I look at it is we’re learning together through 3D Perspectives. You may be interested to see how DS Design Studio communicates with design experts on their official website, which will go live around the time of the European CATIA Forum, better known as ECF.



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