Three Questions for Frank Gehry

By Kate

Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frank Gehry recently gave a talk at DS Campus and I had the pleasure to meet him. Actually, I wasn’t supposed to meet him, but I finagled my way up to him after the presentation and got an on-the-fly video interview for 3D Perspectives.

I wanted to ask him:

1. Is 3D a universal language?
2. What does Innovation mean?
3. What’s the future of Architecture?

Check out the below video to hear what he has to say. I was pretty impressed that he gave such spontaneously profound answers, especially since we were immersed in post-presentation madness (as you’ll hear in the video).

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Note: Once I started filming I realized I should have escorted Mr. Gehry to a quieter spot, but as I was seizing the moment and not on his packed agenda, I was afraid I’d miss the opportunity. Soooo, please read the transcribed interview below If you weren’t able to hear everything Mr. Gehry said. (sorry, I couldn’t find an ‘add subtitles’ option to Windows Movie Maker, but hey, you get both: transcription and the video.)



Transcribed questions and answers from the video 3 Questions for Frank Gehry:

Q1: Can you tell me if you believe in 3D is a universal language?

A: Well I make buildings that are 3D, so I do. I believe that the articulation of 3D objects, that’s buildings and everything else made through the computer and software is a revolution of our time and is clearly just beginning to be understood.

Q2: Can you tell me what Innovation means to you?

A: Innovation means that in real-time you can respond to the changes that are happening around you, ecologically, politically, technologically. On a daily basis there are people developing methods that are related to place and time, and innovation in the ability to respond to that. And it’s new because it’s responding to new. It’s responding to change, and so it is change. And I think that’s innovation– a different way of looking at the world, because the world is different.

Q3: What is the future of architecture?

A: Well architecture as a profession has been around for centuries. As long as there’s population growth, as long as there’s population movement across the planet, as long as the planet exists (which could be problematic right now), I think architecture has a role. Now if the planet starts to disintegrate, architecture will have a role in the new worlds we have to travel to if that’s possible, I don’t know. I’m turning 80 this month, so I don’t know. I’m excited about the future. I think the young people I work with are very positive, optimistic. They’re not giving up. They don’t get threatened. They don’t stop because things are difficult. So I think architecture will always be around.

P.S. Merci Sebastien for the photo!

Would you buy this eco car?

By Jonathan

Well would you?

If it were more expensive to buy than your current car whilst having less power and were less capable of driving long distances, I’m not sure I would.

Producing the eco car that you the customer wants at a competitive price is probably the biggest challenge facing the automotive industry today and for the foreseeable future. But first of all what is the eco car?

The obvious one is a car that pumps out less tailpipe emissions (PM, HC, NOx, CO, CO²) whilst burning less fossil fuels. The auto manufacturers have lots of technologies available today to do this (see my previous blog post), such as: making the car lighter, efficient engine ancillaries (climate control compressor, alternator, electric water & oil pumps, etc.), energy recovery from braking, engine downsizing, electro-magnetic valve actuation, variable compression ratio, etc. The fuel efficiency gain can be from 20% up to 40% – all using today’s technologies based on the good old internal combustion engine.

The not so obvious ones are a car that can be fully & easily dismantled at the end of its life for 100% recycling, or a car made of materials that are fully compliant to health and safety regulations, or a car that needs less energy and creates less pollutants to manufacture, calculation of the car’s carbon footprint, to name but a few…

In other words “a car that can meet your mobility needs while preserving the environment now and for the indefinite future,” wow that’s hot stuff!

How can Dassault Systèmes help the Automotive Industry in these challenging times?

Let’s look at an example and see what we’ve got…

Today, minimising fuel consumption and emissions is heavily dependent on correctly controlling the engine, i.e. managing the energy consumed versus the energy needed to move the car and drive the ancillaries. The tens of thousands lines of control code in the engine’s ECU are today created by a long development process (6 engine calibration engineers are needed for 1 design engineer!) where cars have to be taken to extreme climates to verify that they start, accelerate, control emission correctly…basically reproducing as many real life conditions as possible.

But what about simulating these conditions and modelling the behaviour of the mechanical and electrical systems in the car (e.g. thermal & mechanical inertia) in your offices, allowing the vast majority of the code to be created without going to Alaska?

Well, this is exactly what we’re starting to show with CATIA Systems Engineering Software at one of our preferred Automotive customers…imagine the time and effort saved to get your product to the market and the quality gained by being able to re-use the behaviour models from one system to another!

Stay tuned for more examples…

What do you think is important for the Automotive Industry to build the eco car of the future?

Thanks, Jonathan

SolidWorks World 2009 recap

By Matthew

SolidWorks World 2009 has been over for more than a week now, but it feels like everyone here is still recovering and getting caught up. There’s so much activity squeezed into three days that it takes a little time to process. This year we had over 4300 attendees, which is amazing in light of the current economy. As Jeff Ray said on-stage, we were expecting 3500 if we were lucky.

If you couldn’t make it, here are a few of the highlights:

  • Listening to Sir Richard Branson talkabout the need to innovate and be creative. It was obvious that he didn’t have any kind of pre-rehearsed script he was reading off, and it’s obvious that he loves what he does, and really wants to make the world better. Jeff Ray told me later that day that when he was alone in a car with Sir Richard on the way to a press conference, all Sir Richard could talk about was an incubator Jeff had shown made from car parts, and how he wanted to get it over to Africa so they can start saving more lives.
  • Learning about all of the ways our customers and partners are getting creative in order to survive the current economic cycle. It was like technological Darwinism in action–adapt and survive.
  • Watching Jon Hirschtick give a lesson in Blackjack to 15-20 customers in his room. Everyone had a great time, and Jon proved to be an amazing storyteller and teacher at the same time.
  • Watching the people rush into the general session hall every morning, getting up front as fast as they could.
  • Getting to see Jeff ride a small pink scooter in circles around a very large Sumo wrestler.

My biggest regret is that my schedule never allowed me to check out the partner pavilion to see what people are doing with the software. I hear there were several motorcycles and even an armored military vehicle there.

If you’re interested in seeing what went on, you’re in luck, because the event got beaucoup coverage. You can check out the SolidWorks World 2009 Flickr group, read updates from various bloggers (I counted 80 entries over four days), and watch video coverage on our own blog.

And don’t believe me about the pink scooter and the Sumo? Watch this!

Beyond PLM (Product Lifecycle Management), Dassault Systèmes, the 3D Experience Company, provides business and people with virtual universes to imagine sustainable innovations. 3DSWYM, 3D VIA, CATIA, DELMIA, ENOVIA, EXALEAD, NETVIBES, SIMULIA and SOLIDWORKS are registered trademarks of Dassault Systèmes or its subsidiaries in the US and/or other countries.