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Thread: Gehry Partners Case Study.

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    Super Moderator beegee's Avatar
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    Lachmi Khemlani has written an interesting Case Study of Gehry Partners in the latest AECbytes.

    The practice's reliance on physical models and the use of RHINO / CATIA are well known, but it was surprising to read that they do not make great use of rapid protyping.

    Even more surprising is the use of the TIFF format instead of PDF or DWF for information exchange.

    In many ways, the firm appears very low tech, despite the image created by the cutting edge free form designs.
    The use of 2D drafting to generate construction documents, widely regarded in the AEC industry as being on the way out, is very much in evidence at the firm and shows little sign of being replaced by the new BIM applications any time soon. Hand sketching continues to be very much a part of the conceptual design process, particularly by Frank Gehry, and tools such as Autodesk Architectural Studio and SketchUp have been tried, but are yet to make a mark. Tablet PCs are nowhere in sight, and except for the high-end machines needed to run CATIA, the rest of the computers have average to low-end specifications.
    They also prefer the phone and FedEx to project collaboration websites.

    Gehry is a true contrarian.

    Attached Images Attached Images

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    I could stop if I wanted to robmorfin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gehry Partners Case Study.

    Beegee wrote:

    In many ways, the firm appears very low tech, despite the image created by the cutting edge free form designs.

    Don't get confused, Gehry's Partners are very high tech with what they have, (by the way, they also use AutoCAD), Rhino is an extremely powerful modelling program (can be compared with Alias Wavefront Maya), it can create any imaginable form and 3Dobject, in that respect, higher tech than Revit, also Catia is consider one of the highest tech software in the market used mostly to design Airplanes wich can apply to the design of any structure and you can get quantities of volume and areas of any free form surface in your 3D Model, Gehry's usually make the Phisical Model and then they scan it into Rhino because Frank Gehry doesn't have the need the computer to model, he is a sculptor, an artist, then this model is modified in Rhino and the structrure later on created in Catia, also they use Adobe Illustrator to modify the Renderings and presentations, they are very high tech and they have a big research team just checking all the software in the market (I'm sure they are checking Revit too), if they don't use some kind of software is because it doesn't help them with what they are doing, let's say with Revit, they couldn't do any of their designs with it (neither could Zaha Hadid), and yes, after modeling the project they do construction documents in 2D but from sections taken previously from Catia, same as a Plan view in Revit, I find more high tech creating what they do with only 4 Programs (Catia, Rhino, AutoCAD & Illustrator) than most of the companies using alot of programs and not achieving such great projects as he does (Revit, ArchiCAD, ADT, AutoCAD, Sketchup, 3dsMAX, Viz, Accurender, CorelDraw, Photoshop, Piranesi, Illustrator, etc, etc., etc.), we as Revit user have to use few of these programs because each one of these have cool tools, but not all the tools we need as Gehry's program do.

    Also I consider any collaboration website an inneccessary spense, you can achieve the same by having your own FTP site.

    beegee wrote:
    Gehry is a true contrarian.

    Contrarian to most Architects: yes, but were not Gropius, Mies Van der Rohe and Le Corbusier, modern architects contarian to everything that existed before??

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    Super Moderator beegee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gehry Partners Case Study.

    Most of us are well aware of Gehry's use of Rhino and Cattia, to the point of boredom. One could reasonable anticipate that a firm using this sort of software would have looked long and hard at other available technologies to make the documentation exchange / information exchange process more efficient, more accurate and faster. If thats the case then, they have rejected almost all of those technologies in favour of hand made models, 2D drafting, hand sketching, the telephone and FedEx. In that respect. they cannot be considered to be a high tech practice, since ( with the exception of the aforementioned cad/modeling software ) they are using technology unchanged from at least 50 years ago to run a large worldwide practice.

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    I could stop if I wanted to robmorfin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gehry Partners Case Study.

    Come on man, if you don't like Gehry, that's OK, but Frank Gehry is also the owner of Gehry Technologies, a very high tech AEC company, read the next about taken from the link at the end of this post:

    About Gehry Technologies, LLC

    Gehry Technologies, LLC (GT) was established in 2002 to provide advanced building delivery technologies to the AEC industries. GT brings the experience of fourteen years in technology and process innovation to its clients, leveraging the very best in digital tools for building design and construction.


    http://www.gehrytechnologies.com/GT-09-29-2003.html

    Follow the link and then say again they are low tech (yeah, right).

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    AUGI Addict PeterJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gehry Partners Case Study.

    Hmmm. I don't wish to tread on his toes, but I think you miss Beegee's point. There is a world of difference between using the best tool at your disposal for documentation purposes and moving forward on many fronts in your office.

    At the end of the day Catia and all the rest of it is just a tool, yet the reports suggest that they fail to capitalize on the opporunities that tool offers so that the drawing on paper is no different from a drawing that they might have prepared with a toolkit comprising bits from Staedtler-Mars and Rotring.

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    I could stop if I wanted to robmorfin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gehry Partners Case Study.

    What I'm trying to say is that having palms, pocketPCs, laptops, scanners, laser plotters, cel phones, digital cameras, web cameras, FTP sites, Buzzsaw, and all kind of gadgets doesn't necessarelly mean your office is high tech, as super high tech Japanese factories, high tech for them is not having 1,000 different Robots or automated machines, is having 2 robots that do what the other 1,000 do at the same time, I think of high tech in architectural firms as using as minimal high tech tools and achieving a high tech product or project without spending time in dealing with alot of different pieces of software.

    An Architectural office can live without cel phones, pocket PCs, laptops, etc., and I consider mailing a very good option, you care for what you are sending and you send a final product, having the files available on real time you need to hire people just to take care of the managing of the files and making manuals, whoever makes the PDF's, DWF's, ZIP's, ect. needs to be another full time paid person, whoever is managing on the other side needs to be paid to, then the one printing, the one checking, multiply this for let's say only 5 companies (A-MEP), that's already at least 12-20 ries paid that need not to be paid if you give your files to the Printing company and they send it to all the other companies, and the other companies get the final product ready to work on (of course, you emailed the files while the printing was going on).

    Sometimes having and using all the high tech gadgets makes you loose alot of time and alot of money.

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    Revit Forum Manager Steve_Stafford's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gehry Partners Case Study.

    If you can do the task with paper and pencil, get paid and yield an acceptable profit...great. I've been handed field ready hand sketches (job development type stuff) and been told to "put it in the computer", then fax it out, to which I ask, why? It's ready to send now...

    If you can do it with CATIA et al...great. There's more than one way to achieve your goals...(guess this comes down to your definition of "high tech")

    A completely skeptical thought, they've spent so much time and money on their processes that the natural progression is to attempt to "sell" it so they might recoup their R&D money...wouldn't be the first time...

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    Active Member gnl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gehry Partners Case Study.

    This comment is not intended to go against anything stated here earlier, but I wanted to add a few things on this thread...

    I don't know if you ever worked for an architect such as Gehry... I haven't, but I have visited Renzo Piano's workshop, and I also have many friends who have worked with Hadid, Fuksas, Ove Arup...
    The architecture I used to work on when I was working full time in my studio with my partners was in a way similar, though evidently not as complex, to Gehry's.

    Whatever CAD tool we used, we could never take out construction documentation out of it, it was all the time back in 2d to get the work done, and I guess a cad software that would do that would just be too much to ask for.

    But in any case, that architecture is initially designed, like most experienced architects will know, not in a digital environment but on a sheet of paper, and it it is basically a concept, not a Building.
    The process that will develop that conceptual sketch into a 3 dimensional digital model is hardly under control of the firm's leader (Gehry).
    Nor will she/he decide what cad will be used to design it. It's up to the cad men to decide that and of course, Rhino and Catia fit that type of design intent much better than any other software product around, for reasons that I believe are pretty obvious.

    Why would anybody want to compare our beautiful Revit with that kind of software? They target different needs and are built upon different philosophies and technologies.
    It would be like comparing Word to the Text editor available in Outlook... they both can write text, but which one would you use if you were to write a 200 page essay...? and would you use Word to write and manage emails everyday?
    While there is only 1 Gehry, 1 Piano, 1 Hadid, there are thousands (just in Rome well over 20.000) of architects and engineers (not to mention Contractors) that can find true benefit in using Revit, especially since I refuse to believe that just anybody out of arch school has the ability, experience and intellectual background to even imagine the buildings Gehry designs.

    And if we talk about BIM, which Lachmi Khemlani does quite often, Rhino and Catia are not even in the category... while Revit put some very strong foundations to providing a first, maybe incomplete - but growing, intelligent approach, no matter what people or users from Graphisoft or Bentley can say.

    Do Gehry, Hadid, Piano and the others want BIM? that's a good question... they don't need it do they? not yet at least, but many others in the industry may be interested in it and you can be sure they will not be looking at Catia and Rhino for that...

    sorry for the long comment guys...

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    AUGI Addict PeterJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gehry Partners Case Study.

    It certainly appears true that the more creative the office the more littered the floor will be with offcuts of foam-core to create topo models and balsa for those fine piloti.

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    Super Moderator beegee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gehry Partners Case Study.

    The point I was making , was that its interesting that a practice that promotes itself as a champion of the latest technology does not see fit to adopt many other available technologies which might assist design production and information exchange.
    This raises a number of interesting questions and is, I think, the subtext of Khemlani's piece.
    The point is not whether these technologies are better than more traditional methods. Nor does this reflect on the quality of architecture produced by the practice. If someone produces highly acclaimed work via quill, ink, parchment and gaslight, good luck to them.
    It does however raise interesting questions about the culture of the practice, and that is why I raised the issue.
    Some of the questions raised have been mentioned in the posts above.
    If Gehry's office in fact been using palms, pocketPCs, laptops, scanners, laser plotters, cell phones, digital cameras, web cameras, FTP sites, Buzzsaw, etc etc, then it would not have raised any eyebrows. That's exactly what we would expect, given the PR surrounding CATIA and his buildings.

    Did they investigate and reject this technology ?
    Did they not fully investigate it ?
    Is there one hi-tech enclave in his office at odds with another Luddite group ?
    Was the cost prohibitive ?
    Does the technology not do what they want it to do?
    Is that something specific to Gehry's practice, or of more general application ?

    These and other questions are the ones that interest me.

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