Autodesk today opened its annual global user conference, Autodesk University, by urging the more than 50,000 event attendees (both in-person in Las Vegas and watching online via AU Online Live), to “go outside” and seek inspiration, tools, collaborations and projects beyond their traditional areas of focus.
“One great reason to go outside for insight is that it helps us to go outside our blind spots,” said Jeff Kowalski, Autodesk senior vice president and chief technology officer. “When we focus on looking and going outside of our traditional tools, people, work, and insights, we can all increase our capacity to take things that were impossible, and to make them finally possible.”
Autodesk President and CEO Carl Bass then showcased Autodesk customers who are adopting new mindsets and toolsets to solve design challenges. These included:
- Orphanage Guitars, a startup musical instrument manufacturer
- Automaker Aston Martin
- Plastics company Porex
- Bill Spracher of AMP’D Gear and Jeff Tiedekin of Monkey Likes Shiny and their collaboration on a prosthetic leg for injured soldier Katherine Crawford
- The Denver International Airport Hotel and Transit Center Program
- Filmmakers and robotics company Bot and Dolly
- Portable stove manufacturer Biolite
Bass also spoke about how Autodesk is continuing to focus on access—by providing infinite computing power in the cloud and Autodesk software on-demand through the rental model—and how that access is changing how design and engineering work is done.
“During the year, my favorite activity is visiting customers – I see such incredible work, such tremendous creativity, and incredible resourcefulness – and how customers are doing things differently,” said Carl Bass. “Three years ago, we started talking about cloud, social and mobile computing and how it was going to enhance what we did on our desktops. Our customers are augmenting their tried and tested tools with new ones. By trying new and different things, and by embracing new technology, they are having greater creative control and better commercial success.”
Autodesk University Series Reaches Tens of Thousands Worldwide
Autodesk University (AU) is an annual series of in-person and online customer conferences that inspire, challenge and energize attendees about the future of design and engineering. Now in its 21st year, AU attracts nearly 50,000 live and virtual participants annually and includes the flagship event in Las Vegas, which begins today; AU Live online; and regional events that occur throughout the year in Japan, Brazil, Russia, China, and Germany. Although AU began purely as an Autodesk user conference, it has grown to include a broader focus, with attendance from throughout organizations, from CAD Managers to upper management and senior executives. As AU has evolved beyond software training, there are now tailored sessions for this audience focused on solving business issues and taking advantage of industry trends.
A highlight of AU Las Vegas is the Innovation Forum program, a series of sessions focused on the future of design. This year, one forum focuses on “Design and Construction” and how technology can help do more. This includes speakers from Tacit Homes, HNTB, the San Francisco City Design Group, and SimCity creators Maxis. The other forum, “The New Industrial Revolution” explores how manufacturers can take advantage of emerging trends and highlights trailblazers who are changing the way we manufacture including Jen McCabe of the Vegas Tech Fund, Tesla, Quirky and Skylar Tibbets of MIT.
Autodesk University provides attendees with a mix of presentations, instruction and social activities to network, share ideas with peers and meet industry leaders from around the world. Attendees have access to training on the latest Autodesk 3D design software as well as free certification exams to enhance their credibility by proving their level of expertise with Autodesk software. Select content from Autodesk University, including an archive of the keynote address, is available for free both live and on-demand at AU online live.