My colleague, Senior Principal Research Scientist, Erin Bradner, was invited to be part of a discussion panel at the Bloomberg conference two days ago, discussing the role of technology on the future workforce and the impact on the economy. She represented Autodesk and our point of view on generative design.
I enjoyed the video very much, actually all of the panelists, but the video is about 25 minutes long, so for those of you who need the cut to the chase, here are some key points Erin touched on.
- Today Autodesk is known for Computer Aided Design (CAD) where architects and engineers (a.k.a. designers) imagine a design, such as a building, and express that design by creating lines, arcs, surfaces, etc. using a CAD tool to represent the building.
- In the future, computers will be used in consultation with designers, where the designer specifies the requirements and manages the aesthetics, but using an algorithm, the computer will generate the lines, arcs, surfaces, etc. that satisfy the requirements.
- In fact many alternatives will be generated using banks of computers in the cloud, and the designer will make the tough trade-offs to select one of the alternatives based on how well it satisfies the requirements and on the aesthetics of the alternative.
- Here's an example: Instead of using a CAD tool to draw a building, an architect could specify: I'd like a building that has this many offices, and that many rooms, and only uses this much energy. The software would then generate lots of choices that satisfy the architect's constraints. The architect could then pick the one with the lowest energy consumption or the one he simply likes the most.
- So in the future, people like architects will be able to address problems more holistically. They will need to be data scientists and work at a higher level. The drudgery of actually expressing a design will be handled for them so they can focus on the more creative aspects of their jobs.
Way to go Erin!
Generative design is alive in the lab.