Is Design Too Important to Leave to CAD?

The party that happens the first Thursday of most months at Autodesk’s Gallery in San Francisco includes a presentation. Topics are fun, meant to engage the public and usually — but not always — extoll Autodesk’s role in the technological splendor of our modern world. But the last Design Night, as these parties are called, turned serious. It was about architecture, more specifically “The Built Environment, Technology and the Role of Data.”

Figure 1 – Sejung Kat Park of SOM getting ready to revamp our idea of how buildings should be designed. You thought it was CAD but you need a Master Data Model.

This night, the theme is Mediterranean food. In amongst the falafel and shawarma, the 3D prints pretending to be art, the DJ and his loud music, was Sejung Kat Park, MIT educated senior digital design manager at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill.

SOM, Kat the Very Tall Building

SOM is one of the premier architectural firms in the world (11th overall, according to Architectural Record, 2015 revenue of $245 million) and known for its tall buildings, including the tallest in the world, the Bhurj Khalifa (Dubai, 2010), the Sears Tower (Chicago, 1974) and several towering structures in between. Headquartered in New York, SOM has offices all over the world, including San Francisco.

We are introduced to Kat, who will be telling us of a few of SOM’s projects she has been involved with. One of them was the Lotte Super Tower, the 555 meter “supertall” skyscraper in Seoul, South…

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