Research is a hot topic at Autodesk. Although we have a dedicated research team in Toronto, many parts of the company are involved in research. My coworker, Lisa Rotzinger, recently shared a paper that she was reading from The Journal of Design, Economic, and Innovation entitled "Communities of Practice in Design Research." In that paper, the author noted that Ernest Boyer, a former president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, provides some interesting definitions of research in his book Scholarship Reconsidered, Priorities of the Professoriate.
Basic research looks for new knowledge by trying to combine observations into theory.
Integration research looks for patterns within and across disciplines.
Applied research is based on practical project use and is about validation, identifying what is missing.
Teaching research covers experimentally reflecting upon, examining, improving, and monitoring methods used for instruction.
Autodesk certainly has a cadre of employees conducting basic research in Toronto. When I bring in summer interns to put Fusion 360 through its paces and fabricate their designs at our Pier 9 office, they are conducting applied research. They are looking for what is missing from our solutions and make recommendations for how our software can be even better. We have done this for a few years now.
- Summer Intern Uses Fusion 360 and Project Dreamcatcher to Imagine, Design, and Create a Cool-Looking Chair
- Summer Interns Imagined, Designed, and Created a Mechanical Octopus using Fusion 360
- YouTube: Autodesk Fusion 360 Interns: How I Spent my Summer Vacation at Pier 9
- Three Summer Interns Collaborate Using Fusion 360 and Autodesk 360
We also have or Applied Research and Innovation team at Pier 9 who look for gaps in what we know about various technologies.
- Robots and Augmented Reality at the Autodesk Applied Research Lab at Pier 9
- Motion Capture in the Autodesk Applied Research Lab at Pier 9
- CEO Special Project: Table Design and Fabrication
Research definition is alive in the lab.