Sunday, August 3, 2014

Oh, patents! Gehry achitectural technologies

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann
Just in case you are not quite impressed enough with the lattice and corrugated cardboard Gehry furniture design patents, the  picture to the right is one of the landmark Frank O. Gehry buildings: the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao (Spain). Built with a titanium-clad exterior using patented modeling technology influenced by aircraft engineering, this museum has become as much a destination site, as it is inspiration for the artists that bring it alive.
The architectural modeling patents listed below, assigned to Gehry Technologies, are some of the inventions connected with these extraordinary signature Gehry buildings,  such as for example the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California (see third image on right); The Dancing House in Prague (Czech Republic); 8 Spruce Street in New York city; the Frederick Weisman Museum of Modern Art at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis (second image right) and The Gehry Tower in Hanover, Germany --each with its own curves and gravity-defying appearance:

  • US2014195963 - Method and apparatus for representing 3D thumbnails
  • US2014180641 - Method and apparatus for detecting interference in design environment
  • WO2013116859 - Computer process for determining best fitting materials for constructing architectural surfaces
  • WO2013106803 - Method and apparatus for presenting differences between 3D models 
Below appears the abstract for WO2013116859 titled Computer process for determining best fitting materials for constructing architectural surfaces, and one of the figure drawings connected to the patent and curved lines of the Gehry buildings.

A computer process for fitting construction materials to an architectural surface modeled in CAD divides the surface into domains, and defines sample points on each domain surface. Low accuracy then high accuracy iterations match a domain to a surface portion of a regular curved solid. The low accuracy match limits the type and orientation of the curved solid. The high accuracy match derives a central reference for the curved solid by defining vector pairs from among the sample points and calculating multiple resultants as cross products of vector pairs that share a common origin. Reference points are located wherever the distance between any two resultants is minimum, and the central reference, e.g. an axis, is derived from the reference points using regression analysis. The match to the domain may be iteratively improved by adjusting a parameter such as a radius until a desired accuracy is achieved. The result is compared to stored specifications to identify construction materials capable of forming the domain. Parallel processing may be employed to reduce time for solving fitting problems for large architectural projects having multiple surfaces with complex curvatures.[WO2013116859]
Pin the Gehry landmarks on Google Earth to take a peak, or include them in your globetrotting itineraries…! These are buildings to see!
And patent-wise, notice again that computer code cannot be patented, which is the reason why it appears as a method and apparatus in US2014195963, US2014180641 and WO2013106803, or as a  multiple-step process in WO2013116859. (For more  detailed explanations and the history of this fascinating issue, see post on The patentability of the QR code)

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