As CTO Jeff Kowalski mentioned as part of the keynote address at AU:
"One great reason to go outside for insight is that it helps us to discover our blindspots. Blindspots, by definition, always exist outside the range of what we're able to see at any given time, and that's why at Autodesk we're constantly looking for ways to go outside our existing points of view (e.g., robotics, Burning Man). We want to see what we're missing and what we should be paying attention to that we're not. The good news is that when you consciously step outside your current perspectives, blindspots are actually pretty easy to locate, and sometimes, you can even use them as an inspiration to innovate."
It's for this reason that many Autodesk employees go to Burning Man on their own time. They want to see design done to the extreme. Two of my colleagues, Arthur Harsuvanakit and Evan Atherton, participated in a project where they allowed Burning Man attendees to assemble octagons to extend the Burning Man Temple of Whollyness (see blog post). They made a video of their efforts creating the raw materials that made the project possible. It was a lot of nights and weekends:
Their efforts included:
- 100 Sheets of 4’ x 8’ – 3/8” plywood
- 4,200 CNC routed panels
- 3,600 Laser cut Connectors
- 22,000 Hand beveled edges
It's great to see our employees widening their horizons.
New perspectives are alive in the lab.