The Context

Autodesk's cutting-edge Dreamcatcher project started as a research project to explore next-generation computational physics simulation, generative topology, and evolutionary/genetic algorithms. This new way of working with computers enabled the conception of physical objects which could change the world – with a simple instruction, anyone can generate hundreds of thousands of options for a given form.

The issue was that it was still just a series of command-line interfaces. The first step was ingesting and analyzing Autodesk's obscure technical and scientific research before it cold be translated into usable, human-centered software products and services. This would ensure their groundbreaking technology would be accessible and practical for users across various industries.

I worked with the Autodesk team to orient their efforts to productize key discoveries and IP being developed, focussing on simplifying complex technical concepts into easy to grok (ie: usable) software interactions.

This work resulted in a number of novel user interactions and interface elements, some of which were specially designed to accommodate the unconventional functionality that this next-gen platform demanded. By blending advanced technology with intuitive, user-friendly design, I helped create a powerful tool to revolutionize how design and engineering professionals approach their craft.

Methods & Activities
  • Ethnography, Observation, and Expert Interviews
  • Desk Research, Documentation, and Literature Review
  • Business Immersion, Value Web Modelling
  • Market, Environment, and Horizon Scanning
  • Strategic and Tactical Planning, Roadmapping
  • Business Immersion, Value Web Modelling
  • Journey/Experience Mapping, System Mapping
  • System/Process/Flow Diagramming
  • Stakeholder, Expert, SME Interviews
  • R&D Research Commercialization
  • Service Design, Product Design
  • Interaction/UI/UX Design
  • Prototyping, User Testing

Today, the outcomes of the Dreamcatcher project have manifested in several real-world applications. NASA JPL used the software to create Europa Moon Landers, proving its potential to drive significant advancements in space exploration. It has also been leveraged by Philipe Starke with Kartell for their AI chair collection, amongst many other design and engineering applications across industries.

The concepts explored and developed during this project have been integrated into Autodesk's Fusion 360 product line, ensuring that such a groundbreaking set of technical capabilities reaches an even wider audience of designers and engineers. This work is a testament to the power of combining advanced technology, user-centric design, and collaborative innovation to create truly transformative software solutions.

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