What I Saw at the Pier 9 Artist in Residence Exhibition on May 26, 2017

It's Friday, so let's talk about something besides Autodesk Forge. Many of you have read about our space at Pier 9 in San Francisco.

"We're focused on making it as easy as possible for people to go from having an idea about something they want to create to making that idea a physical reality. Helping them go from design to fabrication is where Pier 9 comes in. It was designed as a place where we could explore and create better ways to connect the 3D model in the computer to the digital manufacturing machines that make it real in the physical world. We're also addressing some of the difficulties associated with that process, refining our CAM products, and better connecting our products to machines like 3D printers, water jets, and CNC machines."
— Carl Bass, Autodesk CEO Emeritus

Simply put, we all know that we'll have a better appreciation for what our customers do with our software if our employees actually build things using our software. In addition to using our software in traditional ways, we also have a program where artists use our software in non-traditional ways.

Last Friday, I attended the Artist in Residence Exhibition at Pier 9. Here are some pictures of the artists' wonderful creations:


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Escher's 2D drawings realized in 3D


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a 3D printed record that actually plays!


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Materials that change to predesigned, specific shapes when heated


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A garment that uses facial recognition to respond based on where an onlooker looks


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A programmable, sand-based "etch-a-sketch"


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No exhibition would be complete without a virtual reality experience.


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Having others exercise our software in unconventional ways helps us see what is possible even though it was not part of our original thought process. An equivalent activity for Autodesk Forge would be a hackathon where developers use our application program interfaces (APIs) in unusual ways.

Artists are alive in the lab.