"We've been using software from the aircraft industry, Catia - and for quite a number of years. We bumped into it quite accidentally, because I started using curves that were hard to represent to the construction industry. We needed to demystify it so that they could bid on it in a rational way. . . .
Everyone's had the experience of a building that comes in over by something, and the contractor will say to the owner: "Hey, if you straighten that curve, I'll save you a million bucks." The owner, who doesn't have the spare million, is going to say yes. And the architect becomes marginalized in a split second.
The client doesn't want you to be marginalized - they want you to deliver what you have - but it's intangible to them. The computer changes the game by creating such a precise definition of the parts and pieces that the contractors are actually quite happy. Instead of looking at something that doesn't look like anything they've ever done, and just doubling the bid, they take it seriously, and spend time in the early stages, and develop a fairly precise cost response. That lets the architect take more responsibility, which makes him a better partner. . . . And, the more you can become that, the more likely you're going to achieve everyone's goals."
- Frank Gehry
Thanks, Ben, for bringing this to my attention.