Autodesk makes software for people who make things. If you've ever driven a high-performance car, admired a towering skyscraper, used a smartphone, or watched a great film, chances are you've experienced what millions of Autodesk customers are doing with our software. Autodesk gives you the power to make anything, but some segments of the general public are not yet aware of that.
The Autodesk Gallery at One Market in San Francisco celebrates design — the process of taking a great idea and turning it into a reality. With about 60 different exhibits regularly on display that showcase the innovative work of Autodesk customers, the gallery illustrates the role technology plays in great design and engineering. Autodesk Gallery Ambassadors conduct gallery tours as a sideline to their day jobs. The tours provide ambassadors with opportunities to practice public speaking in front of small groups by informing visitors about what our customers imagine, design, and make using our software.
Sometimes exhibits from the gallery go on the road and appear at special events, like pop-up galleries that we have hosted in Paris, London, Tokyo, and Toronto. In contrast, sometimes exhibits are created for special events and then make their way to the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco. For example, for last week's Autodesk University in Las Vegas, we debuted 16 new exhibits. Some of these may resurface in San Francisco.
The Dynamo and BIM for innovative architecture exhibit was one such exhibit that was showcased at AU:
- Modus Studio // more
Children in the modern world too often don't have an opportunity to explore the outdoors. Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs, Arkansas wants to change that, starting with a new kind of treehouse. Designed by Modus Studio, the Evans Tree House is nestled in a natural Ouachita Mountain hillside along Lake Hamilton. The treehouse sits in a 210-acre botanical garden and completely reimagines our perception of a typical treehouse. The idea of mystery was emphasized in the design, evoking a new type of exploration with the theme of dendrology, the study of trees and wooded plants. The form itself delivers a magical experience of discovery and a new way of viewing the forest from the roots and bark to the canopy.
"Our goal was to get the natural and man-made to blend together for the Evans Treehouse. We also needed to create a blend with technology and the forms we wanted to create in a woodland setting. By laser scanning the site and using BIM, we could incorporate the ecology and create a mysterious, poetic design for a new type of exploration."
— Jody Verser, Associate AIA, Modus Studio
Standing 13 feet off the ground at its lowest point, the treehouse itself is not actually attached to any trees. It's a steel structure with 113 ribs of thermalized Arkansas-sourced Southern Yellow Pine. The treehouse's structural system resembles ribs connected to a central spine.
For the design, Modus Studio first performed a full laser scanning of the site so they could work directly with the natural elements and with a model from day one. By using a Dynamo script early in the design phase, the team could also quickly replicate clean geometry across all the ribs. Front-loading their design efforts with visual scripting, like any other design media, forced the team to make critical decisions on the complexities of their sketches, resolving and developing the design into workable Revit components, using Dynamo as a design tool, rather than simply a means to "model complex stuff." For a year and a half prior to construction, the team tested four different species of wood joinery for the ribs. They found thermalization would dramatically reduce the natural movement of the wood.
With Building Information Modeling (BIM), Modus Studio worked collaboratively without any formal hand-off. From the contractors to the stakeholders, everyone was involved. Completed in 2018, the Evans Tree House is now an inspiration to children and designers alike.
Thanks to the Autodesk Gallery team for the descriptive text for this blog post.
Autodesk has always been an automation company. Today, more than ever, that means helping our customers automate their design and make processes. We help them embrace the future of making, where they can do more (e.g., efficiency, performance, quality), with less (e.g., energy, raw materials, timeframes, waste of human potential), and realize the opportunity for better (e.g., innovation, user experience, return on investment).
Automation presents an opportunity to do things better. For decades, automation helped us offload tasks and optimize processes, but it's imagination, not optimization, that moves us all ahead. A new relationship that combines human innovation and computer automation is helping people imagine new kinds of structures to build. Automation is changing the things we make, how we make them, and how we work.
The Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco is open to the public on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. There is a guided tour on Wednesdays at 12:30 pm and a self-guided audio tour available anytime. Admission is free. Visit us.
Treehousing is alive in the lab.