Gehry Technologies is forming a new strategic alliance of prominent architects to serve as an advisory board that will promote new technologies in design and construction. Frank Gehry, who founded the Los Angeles-based company in 2002, said in a statement on Oct. 18 "I am dedicated to giving architects better control of the process so they can deliver the fruits of their imagination, which is what our clients expect."
Gehry emphasized the shared goals of the group, whose roster contains some of the biggest names in architecture. “I have gathered a group of my friends together who believe in this mission as much as I do and who can help me find the solutions that will ultimately lead to better buildings throughout the world." The distinguished group includes David Childs, Massimo Colomban, Zaha Hadid, Greg Lynn, Laurie Olin, Wolf. D. Prix, David Rockwell, Moshe Safdie, Matthias Schuler, Patrik Schumacher, Ben van Berkel and Richard Saul Wurman.
The group will meet virtually on a monthly basis and in-person annually to discuss integrating new technologies into architecture, engineering and construction. They will serve officially as an advisory board to Gehry Technologies. “The advisory board was chosen for it’s variety of backgrounds,” says Dayne Myers, CEO, Gehry Technologies. “We specifically told them they had no obligation to use our services or software in their own work. We want their input, and plan to bring non-architect experts into the board in the future.”
While the bulk of Gehry Technologies work today is in consulting on projects, they continue to produce BIM-related software. “GT is currently developing a number of tools we are using internally to help our customers, “ says Myers. At an event at Washington D.C.’s Corcoran Gallery of Art held prior to the McGraw-Hill 2012 Outlook Conference, Frank Gehry described to ENR one such GT tool as being “a Google Docs for 3D.” The collaborative software allows multiple users to work simultaneously on a BIM file online. Myers says Gehry Technologies is currently working on several software tools to aid their customers, and is considering possible commercial releases.
In a related announcement, Gehry Technologies said Oct. 19 that it has entered into a strategic business relationship with Autodesk Inc., San Rafael, Calif. Jim Lynch, Autodesk vice president for building and strategic technology, characterized the deal as a sharing of expertise. “A lot of the industry is trying to figure out how to transition to BIM, but they need to understand it’s a business process, not just a technological process.”
Gehry Technologies has its own BIM software platform, Digital Project, but according to GT’s Myers, development will continue. “We still support Digital Project and our developers continue to work on it. In our work we deal with many platforms, and are always looking for the best solution for the customer.” Under the deal, Gehry Technology will provide BIM integration consulting and expertise to Autodesk customers. “Gehry Technologies really builds out our bench, they can show our customers how BIM can contribute all across the building lifecycle,” says Lynch. As a part of the agreement, Autodesk has made an equity investment in Gehry Technologies.
“We continue to expand and grow out, even in a down economy,” says GT’s Myers. “Frank’s vision is that the industry can dramatically improve with technology, and we are going to implement that vision.”