Bentley Announces Trial Program for Generative Design

    EXTON, PA., November 2 /CNW/ - Bentley Systems, Incorporated today
announced its trial program for generative design in architecture and
engineering. The program, which opens Nov. 16, 2007, will include a no-charge
90-day subscription to GenerativeComponents - Bentley's generative design
software - and a Web 2.0 community "space" for users to accelerate their
learning and to share ideas about this new approach to design.

    In generative design, architects and engineers describe design components
and relationships using elegant, powerful algorithms. As the design
progresses, a change to one component in the system automatically drives
changes to other related components - updating the design. Using this approach
on even the most complex designs, users can quickly explore a broad range of
alternatives, speed their design iterations, and generate designs that are
freer in form, more efficient, and more fit for purpose.

    "In generative design, architects and engineers are achieving results and
designs that were virtually unthinkable before," said Buddy Cleveland, senior
vice president, Bentley Applied Research. "They've upgraded from using
computers to simply speed the drawing process to employing immense
computational power to discover their ideal design."

    GenerativeComponents uniquely preserves and exploits the critical
relationships between design intent and geometry. Users can, for instance,
dynamically model and manipulate geometry, apply rules and capture
relationships among geometric features, and define complex forms through
concisely expressed algorithms. By virtue of GenerativeComponents' extension
of Bentley's MicroStation environment, the resulting generative designs can
flow through to detailed production and fabrication without information loss.

    "Emerging from work with the forward-thinking SmartGeometry Group,
Bentley's generative design software was inspired by creative designers who
were not content with the constraints imposed by the traditional CAD
interface," said Makai Smith, GenerativeComponents product manager.
"GenerativeComponents applied to their real-world projects was so compelling
that we have decided to open this trial program to accelerate the learning
curve for those architects and engineers so eager to raise the level of
innovation in their work."

    The generative design virtual community site will be located at It will deliver a robust set of GenerativeComponents-related
resources from Bentley - including the software for download and on-demand
learning - as well as an emerging community of blogs, wikis, forums, and a
media center for sharing generative design project work. Practitioners will be
able to meet equally inquisitive and industrious peers, share how-to's and
best practices, and learn about upcoming events such as SmartGeometry 2008.

    GenerativeComponents has already been adopted by top architectural and
engineering colleges and universities around the world, including Cornell
University, University of Pennsylvania, and MIT in North America; the Bartlett
School of Architecture at University College London, the University of Bath,
and the Architectural Association in the United Kingdom; TU Delft and KTH
Stockholm in Continental Europe; and RMIT University in Australia.

    Designs that have been completed using GenerativeComponents include
Dostyk Towers by NBBJ and E/Ye Design, Cutty Sark Pavilion by YOUMEHESHE, The
Pinnacle by Kohn Pederson Fox, and Museo del Acero by Grimshaw Architects.

    What Experts Are Saying

    "KPF has been using GenerativeComponents for some time and it forms a key
component in the armory of the KPF Computational Geometry Group. Several of
our most advanced projects employ GenerativeComponents as a tool for exploring
thousands of options as well as the complex geometry to be used in final
construction, all ultimately benefiting our clients. The nature of
GenerativeComponents as a MicroStation extension means that, as a matter of
course, our advanced designs can be interchanged with an extraordinary variety
of software." - Lars Hesselgren, Kohn Pederson Fox

    "At Arup, we believe firmly in the principle of integrated design and
integrated approaches to design - it's the only way to design complex
buildings well. That's why we use GenerativeComponents. And we are not alone.
We are starting to see young people coming through the system doing things we
could only have dreamed about a few years ago." - J Parrish, Arup Sport

    "Simplicity seeds complexity. But in the search for form we need to add
reference to the representation to articulate the result. GenerativeComponents
enables us to find, explore, and regulate forms more rapidly, and to transmit
these forms to fabrication more economically." - Hugh Whitehead, Foster +

    "Grimshaw's offices all share a common DNA. We are a design-driven
office, and all projects are informed by the specific location, program, and
environmental forces. We employ GenerativeComponents to take in and embed the
multitude of inputs and structure them using this common DNA, thus enabling us
to rapidly explore a variety of environmentally appropriate solutions for each
design project." - Shane Burger, Grimshaw Architects

    "Using GenerativeComponents, we can accelerate our iteration through
design options and, in parallel, assess all concepts and dismiss those that
would be uneconomic to construct. As a result, we get to spend more time
fine-tuning the best solution." - Volker Mueller, NBBJ

    "Using GenerativeComponents to design the Cutty Sark Pavilion we were
able to dynamically and fluidly alter our building design footprint to
responsively accommodate an ever-changing plot plan while maintaining the most
economic balance of material and structure. In fact, we only considered the
design to be fixed when the construction was finished." - Simon Beames,

    "Projects already completed using GenerativeComponents clearly illustrate
tremendous creativity based on a highly developed sense of intuitive design,
while being expressed with a clarity that comes from an equally developed
sense of design logic." - David Chadwick, CADUser

    More on the Development of GenerativeComponents

    GenerativeComponents was born of a research project led by Bentley
Building's director of research, Robert Aish, Ph.D., that attracted expert
input from a network of elite adopters. Said Dr. Aish, "With Bentley's
GenerativeComponents, designers and engineers have a unique opportunity to
shape the built environment by challenging conventional assumptions about the
form, fabrication, and behavior of buildings.

    "One aspect of this is the use of computational design tools that are not
simply encoding current design practice. Rather, generative approaches pose
creative and intellectual challenges in key areas of contemporary design:
geometry, composition, and algorithms."

    As the software solidified, the research transitioned to commercial
product development led by Bentley Software. The Bentley developers continued
to collaborate with the network of early adopters, who coalesced into the
independent SmartGeometry Group.

    "It's impossible to talk about the early development work on
GenerativeComponents without first recognizing the tireless enthusiasm and
visionary aspirations of Robert Aish," said CEO Greg Bentley. "As he's leaving
Bentley Systems at this juncture, I want to personally thank Robert for
helping me see the tremendous potential of generative design. We wish him well
in his next research pursuits."

    Mr. Bentley continued, "But credit for this innovation must be shared
with the SmartGeometry Group, whose members exemplify the world's most
forward-thinking designers. I thank the group for its diligent work with the
Bentley team on this important development. Together, we intend to make
GenerativeComponents part of the vocabulary of infrastructure professionals
everywhere who want to move beyond CAD to discover their ideal design."

    The GenerativeComponents software for download and the generative design
community site will be available to individual users at After
the trial period, practitioners will be able to upgrade to a one-year
Discovery Subscription to GenerativeComponents for US$250. MicroStation SELECT
subscribers can immediately download GenerativeComponents from SELECT Services
Online. For more information about GenerativeComponents, visit

    About the SmartGeometry Group

    The SmartGeometry Group is firmly committed to the belief that
computer-aided design lends itself to capturing the geometric relationships
that form the foundation of architecture. The group is dedicated to educating
the construction professions in the new skills required to effectively use
advanced design systems such as GenerativeComponents. The directors of the
SmartGeometry Group include Lars Hesselgren of Kohn Pederson Fox, Hugh
Whitehead of Foster + Partners, and J Parrish of Arup Sport. For more
information, go to

    About Bentley

    Bentley Systems, Incorporated provides software for the lifecycle of the
world's infrastructure. The company's comprehensive portfolio for the
building, plant, civil, and geospatial verticals spans architecture,
engineering, construction (AEC) and operations. With revenues now surpassing
$400 million annually, and more than 2400 colleagues globally, Bentley is the
leading provider of AEC software to the Engineering News-Record Top Design
Firms and major owner-operators, and was named the world's No. 2 provider of
GIS/geospatial software solutions in a recent Daratech research study.

    To receive Bentley press releases as they are issued, visit For more information, visit To
view a copy of Bentley's April 2007 Annual Report online, go to

    Bentley, the "B" logo, GenerativeComponents, MicroStation, and SELECT are
either registered or unregistered trademarks or service marks of Bentley
Systems, Incorporated or one of its direct or indirect wholly-owned
subsidiaries. All other brands and product names are trademarks of their
respective owners.

For further information:

For further information: Bentley Systems, Incorporated Press Contact:
Ron Kuhfeld, +1 610 321 6493

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