Gehry: Transforming the building industry through technology

Frank Gehry and friends shift focus to designing the tools that design buildings.
Written by Sun Kim, Contributor

Architects no longer need be oppressed by software that thwarts their plans for a better, parametric future. Something like a Justice League of superdesigners and starchitects, a 'strategic alliance' of architects, engineers, and designers form a new board of advisors to Gehry Technologies (the software development sector of Frank Gehry's namesake design firm).

Gehry Technologies' press release announcing the board clarifies the mission:

The alliance intends to enable new approaches to design through technology, to create more effective industry processes and a higher quality built environment. By applying and innovating new technology solutions to old problems such as waste, delay, and miscommunication, this new alliance will lead the process change that the AEC industry needs to confront future challenges. The group represents a new type of professional organization for the 21st century, one which embraces the possibility of technology to empower design. The alliance will work together to drive technology innovations that support the central role of design in the creation of culture.

Modern buildings are just as complicated to design as they are to construct. Architecture firms often cope with the limits of standard computer aided design (CAD) or building information modeling (BIM) programs by modifying the software. The customized software coordinates and integrates complex data including solar radiation, environmental analyses, acoustics, and complicated structural geometries. Instead of just using technology, architects are changing technology.

Gehry Partners created Gehry Technologies (along with their proprietary software Digital Project), when the firm had to look to software used by the shipping, automotive, and aerospace industries (i.e. CATIA) to model and manipulate their signature curvilinear designs. Gehry Technologies now provide design and project management software and support to architects.

By taking control and directing the development of technology, Gehry and friends are taking control of the design process from concept to construction. Gehry Technologies' new board of advisors includes Moshe Safdie, Laurie Olin, Wolf D. Prix (COOP HIMMELB(L)AU), David Childs (Skidmore, Owings and Merrill), Zaha Hadid, and Frank Gehry. The board held their inaugural meeting in Gotham's Freedom Tower.

Via: Gehry Technologies, MetropolisMag

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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