Building the Design Foundation: Pillar 3

The DS Design Studio is not just about Design Image and Design R&D Solutions. While we’ve talked about Design DNA within Dassault Systèmes, and the 3D software design solution for the design community, DS Design Studio’s activity is wide enough to require two additional foundational pillars.

Pillar 3: Design Experience:

For a product’s design to be fully understood and intelligently modified, it’s helpful to place it in its real context, even at the embryonic stage. By starting your product design in 3D and placing it into a 3D environment (including, virtually of course, the objects, architectures, ergonomics, and people that will be using the product), designers can get a sense early-on of what works and doesn’t.

As I mentioned in the DS Design Studio mission post, the philosophy of design experience is about “usage scenarios, or human needs and desires, and spirals to creative problem solving, the design of products, products within our environment, environments composing our experiences, and our experiences within our real lives.”

We see a lot of architecture designers placing their buildings in 3D contexts representing the neighborhoods, towns, or natural environments that will serve as home-sweet-home to the structures themselves. And inversely, they’re filling the interior of these structures with 3D representations of the objects, decoration and people that will fill them. The Weburbanist blog features some gorgeous and thought provoking examples of these in its 3D Farm Tower post.

DS Design Studio promotes the usage of 3D environments, objects and scenarios as a powerful Design Experience context for design reviews. The idea is to create a lifelike experience environment for the products under design.

From, designers can download thousands of 3D objects to mix into their Design Experience scenarios. For example, today I looked under “furniture,” and there are 391models showing. Eventually these 3D objects will become “smart,” meaning they’ll include behaviors that will allow you to set them into action within your Design Experience scenario.

Tools that designers can use to create various environments for their beloved products-under-design include 3DVIA Virtools, a solution used by the gaming community but also more and more by industrials, and 3DVIA Shape (similar to Google Sketch-up). We can even imagine that more and more design reviews will take place in immersive VR caves where designers and clients can really participate in the virtual design scenarios and “test” the products. I’ve read that Jaguar is already doing this.

VR caves are amazing and I can’t wait to try the new one at DS Campus, but there’s an alternative to “entering the matrix” that provides some exciting design review possibilities. Now you can run, jump and roll around in 3D virtual worlds– literally. Sound spacey? You can catch a glimpse of how in the below video.

Here’s a closer look at the VR backpack you saw in the video:

Design experiencers simply put on the VR backpack (& viewer), step into the dark star/hamster cage, and then can begin travelling in a 3DVIA Virtools powered world. And guess who designed the VR backpack?