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Sensing the City of the Future

Thursday, December 18th, 2014


Say “architecture in the future,” and you’re likely to think of buildings with a radical design, like the Absolute World Towers near Toronto, which twist some 200 degrees from base to top. But while architecture in the future might still be a feast for the eyes, other senses and feelings are likely to get more satisfaction as well.

sensing city 1

Absolute World Towers   Mississauga, Ontario

“Over the last 100 years, architecture has been a conversation about style,” says David van der Leer, executive director of the Van Alen Institute, a New York-based nonprofit architectural organization dedicated to the belief that design can transform cities, landscapes, and regions to improve people’s lives.

“What still largely is lacking in the conversation is how do we actually respond to the spaces we inhabit. If we know how the mind or body responds to the city, we may look at completely different ways of designing buildings.”

Recently, the institute undertook a project to understand people’s reactions to the city around them. The researchers walked around New York with residents of that city to find out how one, for instance, responds to a busy intersection.

Often the subjects, who were wearing brain monitors, would respond that everything was fine, but “their brain activity says something else,” Mr. van der Leer explains. “If we don’t respond well to structures, why do we build them?”


Cristiano Ceccato’s 4 Key Lessons for Integrated Design

Thursday, November 20th, 2014



Cristiano Ceccato,
Zaha Hadid Architects

During his keynote address at a recent Dassault Systèmes event in Japan, Cristiano Ceccato of Zaha Hadid Architects explained how techniques borrowed from other industries have been applied to some of his firm’s innovative projects.

Tweet: How techniques from other industries are applied to @ZAHAArchitect's innovative projects. @Dassault3DS #AEC to tweet: “How techniques from other industries
are applied to @ZHA_News’ innovative projects”

Ceccato also examined what happens when designers transfer digital data into the built realm, thereby moving away from the perfection of the computer into the “imperfections” of a real construction environment.

Here is his advice for the architecture community:

1. Build Like Boeing

During his cross-disciplinary research with Boeing, Ceccato saw that the firm was able to take on great risks to develop innovative ways of working.


3DEXPERIENCE FORUM: AEC Industry Track Recap

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014


AEC leaders gathered in Las Vegas this week to take part in the Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE FORUM, a unique event that explores innovation across a number of industries.

“It was valuable to listen to real practices.”
– 3DXForum AEC track attendee 11/11/14

Collaborative Design and Industrialized Construction

The AEC track on the afternoon of November 11, 2014 inspired participants to take on industry challenges such as providing a high quality experience for tenants while completing under budgets, maintaining sustainability, improving project productivity and efficiency, and ensuring construction worker safety.

Attendees were also encouraged to envision the future of their firms by understanding how Owners, Architects, Engineers, Contractors, Product Manufacturers, and Fabricators can collaborate using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform in a cloud environment to achieve efficient, industrialized construction practices and BIM Level 3 adoptions.

In the opening session, speaker Marty Doscher (Vice President, Architecture, Engineering and Construction, Dassault Systèmes) discussed how 3D adoption has spread through the Architecture, Engineering and Construction industry and that now is the time to evolve to BIM Level 3.

This session explained how 3DEXPERIENCE Business Solutions provides the new and innovative scheme of design and construction processes delivering Building Life Cycle Management.

Industrializing Construction: Industry Solutions Based on Best Practices from Manufacturing

Peter Terwilliger (Solution Experience Director, Architecture, Engineering and Construction, Dassault Systèmes) demonstrated Dassault Systèmes Industrialized Construction solutions, featuring project modeling applications built on the cloud-based, collaborative 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

“The 3DEXPERIENCE platform interface is beautiful and looks like easy to use”
– 3DXForum AEC track attendee 11/11/14

The comprehensive project management and execution solutions leverage the power of 3D to efficiently and consistently cover construction project requirements end-to-end, from planning to fabrication.

Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 11.22.23 AM (more…)

Spotlight on Dr. David Gerber: Building a Storied Career Around Easing Design Complexity

Thursday, November 6th, 2014



“Paradigms in Computing: Making, Machines, and Models for Design Agency in Architecture” by David Jason Gerber and Mariana Ibanez

Today Dr. David Gerber serves as assistant professor of Architecture and Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Southern California, but the title he claims is far simpler than his multi-disciplinary research aims.

The son of an engineer and a computer scientist, Gerber has called many countries (and at one point, a sailboat) home, and his work today reflects that blend of technological interests and global perspectives. A design architect by training, Gerber has worked for some of the world’s most innovative architecture and technology firms, including Gehry Technologies and Zaha Hadid Architects.

Since then he has served as professor, lecturer, author, and founder of several technology startups, but his work revolves around one theme: the intersection of architecture, design with computation, and technology.

Tweet: Our #AEC visions carry 100- to 200-year lifespans and life cycle costs @Dassault3DS #BIM

Click to tweet: “Building a Storied Career
Around Easing #Design Complexity”

Finding A Better Way

It was during his time with Zaha Hadid Architects more than 14 years ago that Gerber says he discovered the lesson that would set his career trajectory.

That path, as he describes it, has been “to develop parametric skillsets, technologies, and knowledge to better equip designers to handle real-world complexity, while maintaining the highest level of quality in design possible.”


Modul’Air: Design Thinking and Simulation Technology Help Redesign Public Transportation

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014


Tweet: Designing a Sustainable and Painless Public Transportation System #AEC @Dassault3DS to tweet: “Designing a Sustainable and
Painless Public Transportation System”

Modul’Air, a finalist for the prestigious International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA), offers a radical rethink of the urban mobility experience.

A central goal of the new public transportation system redesign was to harmonize human activity and nature in the French city of Grenoble.


Cities of the Future

Friday, October 17th, 2014



It’s rush hour in the city. People make their way home after a hard day’s work. Driverless cars pass by as cyclists stream along purpose-built lanes, safe from motorized traffic and unpredictable pedestrians.

As the city unwinds into the evening, indoor sensors adjust the ambient temperature and turn lights on; televisions, radios and even baths are operated with a gesture from an armchair.

Outside, sensors monitor atmospheric irritants, ready to alert those at risk should dangerous levels be reached. A computer planning the city’s waste collection receives data about foul-smelling and full bins.


Spotlight on Morphosis Architects’ Kerenza Harris: Teaching the Value of Parametrics from Concept to Fabrication

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

MNS_RolandHalbe5 cropped

morphosis logo

Founded in 1972, Morphosis took its name from the Greek word meaning “to form or be in formation.” While the name alludes to the firm’s “dynamic and evolving practice,” today it might also apply to its innovative use of parametric design tools.

Since joining the firm in 2008, Kerenza Harris has been a key part of Morphosis’ development and integration of these new technologies into design work. Today, she is helping Morphosis to develop automation systems and parametric tools that can be integrated from the earliest concept design stages through fabrication.


Spotlight on Becher Neme: BIM Expert Pushes a Zero-Change-Order Approach

Thursday, September 25th, 2014


The team that makes up Neme Design Solutions, a Long Beach, California-based BIM consultancy, specializes in simplifying highly complex projects to enable fabrication.

Led by founder Becher Neme, the firm includes a small team of architects and engineers with more than a decade of experience working onsite with general contractors, and with particular expertise in the CATIA solution.

This combination of field experience and software knowledge has helped the firm carve out a unique niche in model clash detection and resolving interface challenges.


How Lean Construction Practices Are Decreasing Schedules for Contractors

Thursday, September 11th, 2014


McGraw Hill Construction, the Lean Construction Institute, and Dassault Systèmes teamed up to produce an in-depth report on Lean Construction. Below is an excerpt from that report on the the impact Lean practices are having on contractors in regards to scheduling.

The Impact on Contractors of Schedule Decreases Due to the Adoption of Lean Practices

impact on contractors scheduleReduced project schedule is one of the top benefits of adopting Lean practices, and saving time in the construction industry also cuts costs on projects and can increase profitability.

However, the savings only accrue to the contractor if the owner has not already factored the reduced amount of time into their expectations of the contractor, especially in the case of a negotiated project, or if the contractor has not deemed it necessary to build those cost savings into their bid in order to win a project in a highly competitive market.

The study results suggest, though, that these options are not mutually exclusive. About two thirds of contractors report that the schedule savings they experience due to their Lean practices do have a positive impact on the profit they experience in their projects, and just about the same percentage of contractors report that they are able to bid projects more competitively due to the schedule savings.

Tweet: About 2/3 of contractors report that adoption of #LeanCon allowed them to bid more competitively @Dassault3DS “About 2/3 of contractors report that adoption of #LeanCon allowed them to bid more competitively”

Clearly, there must be significant overlap of firms who both have schedule reductions feeding their bottom line and schedule reductions absorbed in their efforts to be more competitive.

However, the findings also reveal that the industry is nearly unanimous about the growing expectations of owners that projects can be done in shorter time frames due to the adoption of Lean practices in the industry.

Tweet: The industry expects that projects can be done in shorter time frames due to the adoption of #LeanCon @Dassault3DS “The industry expects that projects can be done in shorter time frames due to the adoption of #LeanCon”


11 Benefits That Sway Non-Practitioners to Adopt Lean Construction Practices

Thursday, August 28th, 2014


McGraw Hill Construction, the Lean Construction Institute, and Dassault Systèmes teamed up to produce an in-depth report on Lean Construction. Below is an excerpt from that report on the benefits that will influence non-practitioners to adopt Lean practices.

construction workers

Potential Benefits With a High Influence on Non-Practitioners for the Adoption of Lean Practices

Over half of the firms that are familiar with Lean but are not using any Lean practices find that nine different benefits from achieving Lean would be highly influential on their decision to use a Lean approach.


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