Autodesk Gallery San Francisco

One day last week I had the opportunity to visit Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco. Since 1982, Autodesk has partnered with creative individuals and forward thinking organisations to use AutoCAD and other software, sometimes open source software, to shape a better world. Areas of focus include Architecture, Engineering & Construction; Automotive & Transportation; and, Manufacturing

When you visit you can,

See how design shapes the world, from the buildings we live and work in, to the machines that propel us forward, to the products that enrich our everyday experiences” 

Before the tour started I observed a book on the coffee table in the foyer. It got me to thinking, tinkering, adding, (even misappropriating?) it to read…


Our wonderful tour guide referenced many stories about exceptional design processes and how people are working together and inspired by each other to use technology to imagine and shape a better world.

Our wonderful tour guide informed the group that technology evolution is measured by 7 year increments and that it takes 12 years for invention to become reality; that is, from idea to concept to design to iteration(s) to production. The ideas and concepts are coming quicker than the technology can keep up. To date, ‘the successes’ have been due to the collaborative approach to innovation and the technology ‘catching up’. No one person can do innovation on their own anymore, and that is because access to technology in the cloud accelerates the exchange of knowledge which can be applied across countries and contexts.

There were numerous examples of innovation and I encourage you to visit the website to discover them. However, one of the standouts for me was the ‘Embrace’, a portable infant warmer that does not need continuous power supply. Purchased by non profits and sent to underdeveloped countries, innovative thinking at Stanford DSchool means approximately 20 million premature babies a year in developing countries can now be taken home – source, Autodesk Tour Guide, 8 May, 2019.

Of interest was seeing, touching and feeling the 3D Nike shoe which was worn by the women’s winner of the latest London Marathon.

It is great knowing that Autodesk is a champion for schools. They offer support for schools where students and teachers can,

“access the same software and creativity tools used by industry leaders worldwide and start to imagine, design, and make a better world” 


You can download free software, design projects and get certified. This sits well with a self directed approach to micro credentialing as students grow throughout their pre-eminent post school years.

Autodesk are going from design to product much faster and with less impact on the environment. They are using robots to recycle concrete for buildings, dams and bridges, do welding in factories, and will soon assist companies to locate robots on building sites to do the work of labourers. That’s a real life example on manual labour, even skilled labour, being replaced.

As an aside, Australia featured. As soon as you enter Autodesk Gallery you see a model of Optus Stadium, Perth. The latest addition to the nation’s stadium build, was innovative in the sense that every single contractor had to use BIM = Building Information Modelling software. BIM enables 3D tracking and animation of issues during design and construction phases of projects.

3D Model of Optus Stadium, Perth.

Here are (only a few) photos I took on the day.

If you are even in San Francisco, you must visit.





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