“I believe there are other guys in the universe, so we don’t want to send something shi**y into space” – RUAG Space (via Twitter @tanya_weaver)
Before CONVERGE 2016 we stated that “designers are hipsters and engineers are nerds” and asked what the two of them have in common or more importantly how they could productively and successfully work together on a joint goal such as the creation of innovative products. Well – CONVERGE 2016 in Essen didn’t just answer these questions, it demonstrated how it works. As Frank Giese of Kraftraum said, “I’m strongly enthused and impressed by the event. The concept was close to being perfect, very inspiring and interesting. The event offered a lot of valuable content and not just product information. It enabled a real and inspiring exchange between technique, concept and design and it made me realize that the Altair Group really has a lot to offer.”
The event offered valuable input for designers and engineers alike and showed the way to successful innovative product development for all kinds of product creators. Arjen Benders, Creative Director cross Business programs at Philips and one of the major speakers of the conference said, “For me it was very interesting to see how 3D printing and optimizing technology, while still in its infancy, is developing into the first commercial applications from architecture to space technology. It’s opening up a whole new and less linear way of thinking between design and production where software will play a major part. The design process starting from understanding user insights and behavior will not fundamentally change with human creativity and imagination still at the center of it, but the way we generate and realize solutions will be very different from today.” Turi Cacciatore of Turi Cacciatore Design, another one of our great presenters confirmed, “To present at CONVERGE 2016 in Essen has been a very good experience for me, both on a professional and personal level. In addition Converge was a great occasion to talk about inspiring subjects with inspiring professionals. Design and technology are evolving so fast, that events like Converge are becoming fundamental for creative professionals, it is definitely an event to keep up with the speed of innovation. I was amazed by both, the level of the discussions and the quality of the organization.”
With very well received presentations from architects, designers, and engineers, talking about how they design and develop their innovative products, CONVERGE reached its goal to be different. It set the targets for future events of this kind and definitely raised the bar for content and – with the outstanding evening event at the Red Dot Design Museum – for fun at conferences alike.
After an introduction by James R. Scapa, Founder, CEO, and President of Altair, parent company of solidThinking and the event’s host, Prof. Dr. Peter Zec, founder and CEO Red Dot Design Award and one of the event’s keynote speakers, prepared the attendees for what was to come regarding the symbiosis of design and technology as well as the use of new materials.
Close to 300 attendees enjoyed the presentations covering all aspects of modern design challenges, i.e. about the development of a new Moon Lander, the design of the APWorks Light Rider, the architectural design of innovative buildings or a new shaver, which according to Philips is “Not a Shaver” but helps hipsters and beard bearers all over the world to control their facial hair in a fashionable manner. All presentations and the four Master Classes talking about the design for and techniques of 3D printing, design challenges in an ever changing design market, design for new manufacturing processes, and the founding of a company with crowd funding, provided new perspectives and answers to the challenges of modern design.
The exhibition in the SANAA building with products from Alstom, APWorks, Arup, Altair itself as well as ThinkLabs, Altair’s design department, Rolo Bike, Robot Bike, and Biomobile provided proof of the successes that come with the use of modern tools and methods. Some of the exhibition pieces from the SANAA building were then moved to the Red Dot Design Museum, where they are shown jointly with other products designed and developed with solidThinking’s or Altair’s tools until October 3rd in solidThinking’s Red Dot Design Museum studio exhibition: “Digital tools for innovative Design“.
The Red Dot Design Museum was also the chosen location of the conference’s evening event, opening the studio exhibition and offering a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere for networking and fun.
After two truly inspiring days in Essen, the only question left open is – what’s next? The CONVERGE 2016 tour will continue with four events in Asia – and as we hear from the teams in the US and Europe, the planning for future events of this kind in the coming years has already started for these regions as well. So stay tuned for any news and stories about the convergence of design and technology, hipsters and nerds and the successes of innovative product creation, to be told in the future.