quote from Frank Gehry

"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.


Miguel Krippahl said...


I has just such a situation with this small project:

The constructor wanted to change the roofs, alleging that would be a big money and time saver.

The client refused, because they had seen the 3d model from early conception, and participated on the design decision making. They understood why the roofs where shaped like that, so they trusted the solution.

It all boils down to trust.

Miguel Krippahl said...

Sorry, this is it:

Miguel Krippahl said...

arghh, its too big an url. I have to breack it down and you have to recontruct it:

Laura Handler said...

That is a great anecdote for this. The next step would be to get the builder on board with the design, using the 3d model.