Mission Design, Follow the Spiral

Bernard Charlès, our president and CEO, is always talking about the Spiral of Innovation. At Dassault Systèmes, it’s integrated everywhere and tooted as a key to creating incredible products, keeping customers and investors happy. In fact, we believe in the Spiral of Innovation so much that we asked architects to integrate several symbolic spirals throughout our new global headquarters, DS Campus. (I’ll let this marinate in your imagination for now; more later on in another blog post.)

So you may not be surprised to learn that the DS Design Studio philosophy (and therefore mission) is also based on a spiral.

The Spiral of Innovation and the Spiral of Design (inspired by the Golden Spiral ) are kind of like siblings with the same parents and genetic makeup. A double helix is a spiral too, and doesn’t it determine identity?

But before I go into the Spiral of Design, let’s look at the official DS Design Studio mission statement:

“Creative people boosting innovation for design excellence.”

Short, sweet, and notice that innovation word.

A concrete way to boost “innovation for design excellence” is to bring designers into the 3D fold, i.e. have them design in a language/medium that will serve as the basis for a product’s genesis as it circulates though the industrial lifecycle. Design intention is easier achieved because it’s innately embedded into the virtually designed product, eliminating interpretation mistakes.

Bernard Charlès talked about this last year when he appointed Anne as vice president of design experience:

“Our 3D solutions are the ideal medium for designers, where they can intuitively and freely play with concepts, and then have them perfectly realized through 3D PLM. Design Experience and PLM are strategies that naturally fit together and will benefit all actors in the product ecosystem.”

In a way (hang with me here), this grafts designers, their philosophy and processes onto the PLM Spiral of Innovation. For design excellence to really shine, we need to “superimpose” the design spiral to the PLM spiral.

Anne gets excited when she talks about the Spiral of Design, how it starts with 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. Think design experience with, as Anne likes to say, “human at the core,” verses product features and engineering details. This is the philosophical layer of the Spiral of Design.

There is also a practical layer to the Spiral of Design, the design process. Imagine, create, share and experience. Looking holistically at the Spiral of Design, it begins with “human at the core” and ends in human experience.

I just checked our latest Spiral of Innovation and am happy to see the Design elements have already made their way to the official slide. Now referred to as the “Innovation Integration Process Centered on Virtual Experience,” it starts with human experience and then moves to design, simulate, produce and ends with human experience, with management ( i.e. management of ecological requirements) in the spiral’s center.

I’m feeling a little spiraled out now, aren’t you? 😉

To get a more practical look at what the DS Design Studio is about, in my next post I’ll start to examine its ‘four pillars’ and invite you to stay tuned.

Here are the four pillars we’ll examine:

• Design Image
• Design R&D Solutions
• Design Experience
• Design Ecosystem

By the way, I’m not and don’t claim to be a Design expert; the way I look at it is we’re learning together through 3D Perspectives. You may be interested to see how DS Design Studio communicates with design experts on their official website, which will go live around the time of the European CATIA Forum, better known as ECF.