Dec 19, 2010

Autodesk University 2010 Showcases Impact of Great Design

Nearly 30,000 Experience Power of the Possible Through Industry Keynote Presentations, Customer Exhibits, Hands-on Classes, Labs and Networking

SAN RAFAEL, Calif - In its 18th year, Autodesk University, the annual user conference for Autodesk, Inc brought together a record number of attendees, with nearly 30,000 designers, engineers, architects and digital artists, as well as members of the news media, industry analyst and investment communities, from more than 72 countries gathering at the live conferences in Las Vegas, Tokyo, Beijing and through AU Virtual.

During the three-day Las Vegas conference, attendees were exposed to innovations in 3D design technologies and witnessed the positive impact of design and technology through industry keynotes, customer exhibits and presentations.

“Great design has always had an impact, but today, the need for that impact is greater than ever. We are facing urgent and complex global challenges that demand our most creative work and innovative solutions,” said Carl Bass, CEO and president of Autodesk, during the opening Autodesk University keynote.

Also during the opening keynote, Autodesk chief technology officer Jeff Kowalski talked about how a change in toolset—due to a transformative technology—can inspire a change in mindset. Today’s transformative technology is Infinite Computing which uses the virtually unlimited computing power available through the cloud. Kowalski challenged attendees to change the way they are thinking about technology and to adopt a new paradigm to solve their greatest design problems.

“Infinite computing is changing the nature and potential impact of design in important ways,” said Kowalski. “Now, we can create amazingly robust design explorations, brilliant visualizations and precise simulations more efficiently and easily than ever before.”

The Impact of Great Design

Autodesk invited a broad range of speakers who inspired attendees with examples of design’s impact on a range of industries and communities.

* Scott Summit, CTO of Bespoke Innovations, demonstrated how his company used 3D design technology to create customized and affordable prosthetics that reflect each person’s morphology and personal style.
* Franz von Holzhausen, chief designer at Tesla Motors, drove a prototype of the all-electric Tesla Model S sedan onto the AU stage before showing how he and his design team were able to create multiple prototypes of the vehicle using Autodesk software.
* Bart Nye, public information officer for CalTrans, revealed how CalTrans used visualization technology to more effectively communicate major transportation construction projects to the public, enabling them to minimize traffic and optimize efficiency.

“Using visualization technology to influence public behavior around transportation projects has been a game-changer for us,” said Nye. “We can do things at CalTrans now that we’ve never been able to do before. We can use these robust visualizations to not only affect, but improve, motorist behavior.”

Other highlights from the show included the Design Matters Customer Showcase + Autodesk Labs, exhibits from Autodesk Clean Tech partners Tesla Motors and Pi Mobility and a Mobile Art Gallery, auctioning pieces for charity.