Shifting Design Process: The Cassiopeia Camera Experience

By Estelle

Understanding the needs of multidisciplinary creative teams

This Article has been written by Teshia Treuhaft and originally appeared at Core 77

The evolution of design as a professional practice is one regularly impacted by developments in other fields. As designers, we often sit squarely between disciplines, streamlining and humanizing products for greater usability and appeal in the end result.

Never has the requirement to work between disciplines been as important as it is today. As industrial design becomes increasingly interwoven with service design, user experience design, engineering, manufacturing and more—designers must act as the bonding agent for teams producing innovative products.

In an effort to further understand these emerging hybrid teams of designers, managers and engineers, companies are going as far as studying the trend of co-creation to optimize for social ideation and more collaboration. Likewise, with the speed of technology and pace of product development, having tools and solutions that allow companies to build faster is proving a greater advantage than ever before.


In order to research the way teams work from the inside out, Dassault Systèmes put together a creative team to design the Cassiopeia Camera Experience. Cassiopeia is a concept for a connected camera that has the functionality of a digital SLR, and allows the user to sketch over photos and scan objects or textures. The team took Cassiopeia from inspiration phase to design validation, allowing Dassault Systèmes to gather first-hand knowledge of the needs of each team member and design solutions that directly enhance social ideation and creative design among the group.

Cassiopeia Camera Experience

Using this research, it becomes clear as the project progresses through different phases, that the requirements of each contributor change and communication between parties gains complexity. While each phase builds on the next, a well equipped team will be able to regularly come together during each phase for design validation.

We decided to take a deeper look at development of the Cassiopeia project for unique insight into the inner workings of a team—one that is not only building a product but a holistic experience.

Inspiration Phase

The inspiration phase of any product demands input from a number of key players inside and outside the company. This is often done by compiling references in the form of articles, visuals, sketches and more. A product manager typically leads this phase, however every member of the team can provide valuable input at this fledgling stage.

Team gathers references and inspiration to define key functions of the product

Communication at the inspiration phase must support amassing source material and then distillation until a key concept emerges. The inspiration phase is particularly important for connected devices like Cassiopeia. In this case, the design team faces not only the task of designing the camera, but also the connected functionality. The complex use cases and physicality of the product must be developed in tandem during this phase for a unified end user experience.

Ideation Phase

Once the inspiration is clear to the team, the work of narrowing the idea down to a discrete set of requirements is the next step. This ideation phase moves the product from discussion of the concept into a physical form for the first time. For this phase, creative designers are tasked to visualize the product for the team, iterate together and repeat.

Rough sketches gives the product a form factor that can discussed and refined at later stages

Sketching in this phase is essential. It allows the team to understand possible variations and begin to make decisions about a number of factors. During ideation, the ergonomic and functional aspects of Cassiopeia merge for the first time into a rough form factor that can be communicated to the team.

Concept Design Phase

Once the product is visualized for the first time using the 3D sketches, the next step is to model the product at scale. An industrial designer will typically model the product in 3D, testing and refining design variations from the ideation phase.

An industrial designer adds scale and refines features of device. 

With Cassiopeia, this is the phase where shapes begins to emerge and the conversation about the product shifts from conceptual to physical. The goals of the design must be clarified and communicated clearly so that the product can seamlessly transition from a design into a physical object that can be considered from a manufacturability standpoint.

Detail Design Phase

Once the industrial designer has taken the design from concept sketch to 3D model, a design engineer takes the model and considers it from engineering and manufacturing perspective. This shift from design of the device to engineering of the device is a careful balance to retain as much of the original concept for the form factor as possible.

Foresight during the detail design phase offers ease of manufacturing and greater success in the final product.

This is a key matter of communication between the engineer and designer in order to deliver a product that not only is aesthetically aligned with the inspiration – but also can be manufactured. For Cassiopeia, this requires a seemingly subtle but highly important refinement of surfaces and geometry.

Design Validation Phase

In the final step, the team must simulate the product in order to engage in discussion and finalize the design. Design validation occurs both in the final steps and at regular intervals during the development. There are two main forms this validation takes, led by a visual experience designer and a physical prototyper. A visual experience designer will create a number of detailed renders, while the physical prototyper will develop physical 3D models.

Visualizing decisions is essential to engage key players inside and outside the team

For Cassiopeia this is a key phase as the camera has a number of complex parts, surfaces and functions. Regular design validation throughout the process gives access to all members of the team to make decisions about the final product. When collaboration is managed well, the multidisciplinary team will arrive at the validation phase having shared expertise at each step of the design process. As a result, the final prototype is a true reflection of their shared vision and is reached more quickly than ever before.

The development process of any electronic device is challenging for teams looking to innovate in their respective spheres. As consumer’s expectations increase for well-designed objects that provide comprehensive product experiences, the ability of teams to collaborate and move quickly will be increasingly valuable. The extent to which teams can effectively collaborate will be a defining factor for success – both for the team and the products they create.

To read more about Dassault Systèmes Solutions and Social Ideation and Creative Design, check out their website and webinar.

Watch the “Optimized Planning” Industry Process Experience at work for AEC Project Managers and Construction Planners [VIDEO]

By Akio

JUST RELEASED: a 5-minute video illustrating just a few common use cases for Optimized Planning powered by the 3DEXPERIENCE platform from Dassault Systèmes.

Optimized Planning demo video

In this video, you will see how the Project Execution System helps a project manager resolve discrepancies between a construction plan and the actual execution plan.

The project manager manipulates a 3D view of the supply, status and delivery schedule of materials. He or she also uses Last Planner methodology to validate parts, materials, and contractor supply availability.

Two proposed construction plans are handed off to the construction planner, who evaluates the scenarios in a 4D environment.

Using the Assembly Evaluation application, the construction planner sees that key parts aren’t delivered on time. Also, there’s a problem with how a prefabricated staircase is supposed to be installed. The planner changes the EPC request to deliver staircase in 3 pieces, and updates the work package.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: #OptimizedPlanning use case:
foreseeing late delivery of key materials avoids onsite delays

Then, the construction planner uses the Resource Simulation application to see how forklifts and various types of cranes will move materials around the site. He or she is notified of a discrepancy in crane deployment: a crane is scheduled to be in use on two different tasks at the same time.

The Resource Balancing application helps resolve the clash, and the Auto Placement feature helps to best position the crane.

Finally, the general contractor takes the input from the project manager and construction planner, and creates a fully-optimized construction schedule.

Watch these scenarios and more play out.
(Registration required.)
Optimized Planning demo video

Optimized Planning is part of the Optimized Construction Industry Solution Experience, powered by the 3DEXPERIENCE platform from Dassault Systèmes.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: [VIDEO] #OptimizedPlanning at work
for #AEC Project Managers & Construction Planners

Related Resources

Optimized Planning Industry  Process Experience

Optimized Construction Industry Solution Experience

Collaborative, Industrialized Construction Solutions from Dassault Systèmes

How to Eliminate Waste and Increase Profits with “Optimized Construction”

By Akio

The Optimized Construction Industry Solution Experience from Dassault Systèmes integrates AEC project data, tracks progress, and brings together project teams – including owners, architects, engineers, general contractors, fabricators, and sub-contractors – all on a single, intuitive, collaborative platform.

You get the value of:

  • Integrated Project Plans—where project data files are integrated with plans in the same location – bringing together all information in one place.
  • Project Visibility— through real-time dashboards that summarize project status and give visibility to all participants. With real-time updates, you can identify potential problem areas and take action early on.
  • The Power of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform— that puts everyone on the same platform, giving people the ability to talk, discuss, chat, and collaborate on a project together;

Click to TweetClick to Tweet: [VIDEO] Preview “Optimized Construction” an #AEC Industry Solution Experience from @Dassault3DS

Optimized Construction connects the dots between project progress, project efforts, and corresponding 3D data – bringing it all together under one 3D umbrella for a “single source of truth”.

Integrated Project Plans

With Integrated Project Plans, AEC professionals can integrate data with project plans in an easy-to-use interface. Each project member has access to a dashboard, where files can be easily uploaded.

The 3DEXPERIENCE platform enables importing of IFC data into an object-based platform that allows individual sharing of objects to the right audience.

From the dashboard, users receive real-time notifications when fresh data is uploaded. By using these capabilities, searching through email Inboxes for the latest information will become a thing of the past.

Click to TweetClick to Tweet: PM dashboard makes
searching email inboxes a thing of the past

Formal and Informal Project Collaboration

In addition to automatic notifications, the platform provides a forum for more informal collaboration.

Through 3DSWYM, a 3DEXPERIENCE social media platform, instant messages can be exchanged among platform users to confirm an upload, ask questions, or provide additional information.


Design Review

Optimized Construction provides a formal space for the crucial review of project information during the design stage and data aggregation. Users can place markups directly in the data, pinpointing areas of concern on the model.

After placing a markup, users can send a message from within that page to alert the responsible individual that their attention is needed, ensuring that no note goes unnoticed.

These reviews can be connected to the project plans to efficiently keep track of progress, and each markup stays in place indefinitely, so that a concern can be tracked through the life of the project.

Project Visibility through Dashboards

The platform’s Project Business Status View allows a project manager to see real-time updates for every aspect of the project. This project visibility at each step of design and construction helps ensure that potential problems are spotted well before they occur.

By integrating your fabricator into this process, you can monitor the real-time status of the work, preventing cost and schedule overruns and enabling him to get paid earlier.

Click to TweetClick to Tweet: Include #fabricator in process to monitor
status, prevent cost/sched overruns, get him paid earlier

Project Management

Project managers get an overview of the project’s status from the dashboard and the tasks that need to be addressed. This overview helps users quickly identify overdue tasks that could possibly delay the schedule. The project manager can flag those items within the dashboard to ask for an informal update from a colleague.

Users are able to make an update in the graphical interface, with no need to move into a table to enter data and recreate the visual representation. The moment those tasks are updated, the new status becomes visible to the project manager.

Project management dashboard

Project management dashboard

Collaboration and Approvals

With Collaboration and Approvals, project managers can follow-up on missing deliverables either through an instant message or through the more official channels of the platform’s Project Management functionality. Team members can quickly respond with an instant message and, once a formal resolution has been entered, the project manager will immediately see that the urgent issue has been updated.

The power of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform is its ability to bring data and people together in one place.

Click to TweetClick to Tweet: #3DEXPERIENCE brings
#AEC data & people together in one place

From unstructured communication among colleagues through the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to more formal project management tools, the platform is as much about improving communication as it is about sharing information.

Learn how Optimized Construction Industry Solution Experience from Dassault Systèmes can work to help improve your projects.

Related Resources

Optimized Construction Industry Solution Experience

Prefabrication and Industrialized Construction Whitepaper

Industrialization of the Construction Industry

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