Building the Design Foundation, Pillars 1 & 2

Recently I wrote about DS Design Studio’s mission and how it complements Dassault Systèmes’ mission to help people build a better environment for the future. But beyond a mission, there’s everyday practice. We now know what DS Design Studio stands for, but what do they do?

A pillar is on one hand a fundamental principle or practice. In architectural terms, it’s a “tall vertical cylindrical structure standing upright and used to support a structure.” (Merci,!) I like to think of a pillar as a foundation. And by looking at the DS Design Studio pillars, we can better understand what they’re actually doing. The first two pillars lay the foundation:

Pillar 1: Design Image:

Direct beneficiaries of this pillar include the group Dassault Systèmes. For example, Design Image is about impregnating Design DNA throughout Dassault Systèmes’ internal ecosystem. DS Design Studio acts as our in-house design studio for anything from event posters, corporate presentations to aesthetic choices for our new DS Campus. For a R&D company to have and access its own design studio demonstrates our dedication to Design, but we’ve got to breathe it to live and evangelize it. Have you started to notice signs of our Design DNA?

Pillar 2: Design R&D Solutions:

I’ve blogged about grafting designers, their philosophies and processes onto the PLM Spiral of Innovation. A good example of this falls under the Design R&D Solutions pillar. DS Design Studio is working with our software developers to further integrate designer-specific functional needs within our 3D virtual design solution, CATIA. The studio is also working with developers to ensure that the software interface and ergonomics communicate intuitively with designers.

Making traditional CAD software designer-user-friendly helps designers do what they do best, create, rather than getting stuck figuring out how to create. I imagine the ideal situation where a designer is working on CATIA but so caught up in their designing flow that they don’t even notice they’re working with a 3D software program. (This is how it is for me when I type; I’m focused on what I want to say, not where to find the “a” or “k” on the keyboard.)

Another key component of this pillar is visualization. Anne talks about a designer’s mission being to “make the essential visible.” DS Design Studio works with the CATIA R&D team to augment the designer-pertinent visualization parameters into CATIA. For example, designers can execute “artistic photo shoots” within CATIA to prepare visuals for customer proposals. They adjust the “lighting” and “camera” to shoot pictures and video animations.

Age of Design

From my take, we’re putting all these efforts into Design because it’s a great competitive differentiator. In an age where we’re overwhelmed with product choices, whether we’re talking about coffee makers or cars, good design, i.e. one made for positive human experiences, is what gets people to buy. Don’t studies show that we make emotionally-charged purchase decisions, no matter how much we’ve researched a product? What and when we buy often boils down to how we feel. And Design is a powerful emotion stirrer. . .

Stay tuned for DS Design Studio pillars 3 &4, Design Experience and Design Ecosystem. If you haven’t already, why not subscribe to lazily receive blog posts in your email inbox, RSS feed or Twitter?