Architect Frank Gehry pushes for paperless strategies

April 16th, 2013 | Posted by Kevin Corley in Document and Information Capture | Document Management | Information Management

Corporations have increasingly embraced paperless solutions to cut costs and improve business efficiency. Now, artists, such as the famous architect Frank Gehry, are also adopting digital document management for expanded benefits, including enhanced innovation.

Dezeen reported that Gehry recently launched a paperless system as a scaled-up product for the architecture industry for sharing and working on drawings. Over the past several decades, Gehry's studio developed software to eliminate the use of paper. Users in the architecture, construction and engineering industries can easily access and manage blueprints, files and contracts through a cloud-based storage service.

One of the reasons for this transition, according to Wired, is that as modeling tools have become more data-intensive, file storage and management have become increasingly challenging. Dezeen revealed that the system was refined by his studio during the construction of the 265-meter high apartment building "New York" in 2011. Architects and engineers were able to use the solution to significantly reduce expensive alterations required during construction. Wired reported that by sharing plans digitally, architects were able to work more closely with engineers and drastically cut back on expensive orders to alter the plans, which Gehry said can amount to 15 percent of construction costs. While typically, alterations can amount ​to hundreds or thousands of directives, the digitally designed New York only had eight.

"Because nobody could see them in the two dimensional world, by taking them into 3-D, you have the opportunity to avoid these clashes," Gehry explained to Wired. "Those amount to considerable savings in the construction process. It allows for demystifying complex shapes, so that it gives more leeway, more freedom to the architect to design."

A potential paperless revolution
Gehry, who has dedicated much time and effort to the possibility of a paperless industry, further emphasized that with the right technologies, it is possible to design buildings on minimal resources.

"My dream is to do buildings paperless. And it can be done," Gehry told Wired. "I discovered that, using the computer, we had more information, which kept us in control and allowed us to protect the owner from a lot of waste in the process."

According to Dezeen, Dutch firm UNStudio recently announced that it will re-launch this Summer as an "open-source architecture studio," using an online platform to encourage a continual exchange of ideas between not only internal architects but also those outside of the company, driving collaboration within the industry. As more innovators like Gehry push for electronic document management, the architecture industry has the potential to unlock new collaborative opportunities while maximizing any budget.

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