A long Sunday

It’s amazing what can be accomplished in a single day! I started the day climbing Mt Manaia (Whangarei, New Zealand) with friends and thanks to long-haul travel and timezones ended it eating seafood at Fishermans Wharf in San Francisco.

I’m in San Francisco attending the Subscribed Conference hosted by Zuora to learn from both the company and its customers about their platform and plans for the future.

I really enjoy San Francisco having first visited in 1997 shortly after joining Cadimage and it was great to get out for a long walk from Market Street across to the Wharf (via the Apple Store) and then a cable-car back to the hotel.

Central Innovation acquires Cadimage Group

AUCKLAND, 1 AUGUST 2016 – Central Innovation Ltd and Cadimage Group Ltd has announced an agreement in which Central Innovation has acquired 100 per cent of the assets of Cadimage Group and Cadimage UK. This action is intended to advance Central Innovation’s mission to become a leading provider of design and workflow solutions to the manufacturing and AEC sectors in Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ).

The acquisition combines the strengths of both organisations to create a comprehensive suite of OPEN BIM solutions in A/NZ. The range of solutions includes best of breed software ARCHICAD, DDS-CAD and Solibri of which Central Innovation is the exclusive distributor across A/NZ.

Chief Executive Officer of Central Innovation, Max Piper, said, “with the joining of Central Innovation and Cadimage we can leverage the strengths of both teams to create complete solutions for customers across the AEC market in Australia and New Zealand.”   

“Cadimage Group has over 27 years in New Zealand and Central Innovation has 25 years of service in Australia to AEC customers. By combining these two great companies, we are essentially placing the final puzzle piece and will be able to go to market stronger than ever.”

“This really is a great step forward for both companies,” said Cadimage Group Managing Director, Campbell Yule. “For us we have found a company that values and understands our business and customers. This deal ensures that our existing team and solutions offering will continue to expand.”

– Ends –

About Central Innovation 

Central Innovation sources, builds and advises on world-class design process solutions to the manufacturing and construction industries. We have over 25 years of experience advising our customers on optimising their design, processes and systems by using the world’s most capable design and modelling software, run on the highest performing hardware, utilising the best people. We enhance this with exceptional technical expertise, specialist consulting, on-going training and education plus access to our specialist recruitment team. 

We are the parent company to Intercad and GRAPHISOFT Australia. Both are leading resellers in their vertical markets of CAD 3D software solutions. We are also Australia and New Zealand’s only licensed reseller of the DDS-CAD product suite. The IC3D suite of specialist software and hardware products is also part of Central Innovation. 

About Cadimage Group 

Cadimage Group distributes, develops and supports a range of design and performance evaluating software for architects, engineers and construction companies that enhance design capability and reduce risk and cost. Established in 1989 as a CAD Bureau, Cadimage Group has evolved into a customer-focused sales and support organisation in the AEC industry to distribute a wide range of products including ARCHICAD, Artlantis and Solibri Model Checker, as well as developing and exporting its own software.

ArchiCAD 20 Signature Building

Having been involved with ArchiCAD in New Zealand for over 20 years we’ve come close to seeing a local building featured on the ArchiCAD Box.

This year we finally succeeded and it is awesome to see a great piece of architecture featured on a significant release – ArchiCAD 20

The Len Lye Centre in New Plymouth was designed by Patterson Associates and uses Stainless Steel as the main cladding to reflect (pun intended) the local industries of oil and gas production.

Student Awards 2015

A project combining contemporary digital fabrication techniques with traditional Māori craft methods and design approaches has won James Durcan the 2015 Cadimage Group Student Design Awards.

It’s that time of year again where 12 architecture students from Auckland University, United and Victoria University get prepared and undertake their presentations for the Cadimage Group Student Design Awards .

As with previous years the level of design thinking and presentation levels increased.

This years winner James Duncan of Victoria Wellington had even created his own large format 3d printer that “combined contemporary digital fabrication techniques with traditional Maori craft methods and design approaches”

The project proposes both a building for a Maori community on the Poverty Bay coast and the off-grid technology that will enable its construction. The work is a most impressive fusion of contemporary digital fabrication and indigenous craft culture. It combines digital design, self-taught craft skills, material experimentation and inventive engineering, and was made possible by the author’s personal commitment and the support of the local Ngai Tamanuhuri iwi. The project is the product of huge engagement, and reveals a willingness, on all sides, to learn and collaborate to realise a meaningful outcome.

Judges citation

Tessa Ford of Auckland University and Unitec’s Hannah Broatch received Highly Commended Awards.

I continue to be immensely proud to support these awards – the effort put in by the students is immense – and the results are outstanding.

Cardboard Cathedral

Admittedly I haven’t travelled to Christchurch too regularly following the devastating earthquakes a few years ago. However, today as part of a nation wide series of seminars we’re undertaking I was in Christchurch.

The location of our seminar was ideal for a quick look at the Cardboard Cathedral.

While the cathedral may have sparked a great deal of opinions I found the building exrtemely well thought out. Some very simple forms assembled with clean and crisp details create a building that allows the church to continue functioning while the main Christchurch Cathedral remains in limbo following significant earthquake damage.

Len Lye Centre

New Plymouth didn’t turn the weather on for us but it was great to one of New Zealands latest architectural masterpieces.

The Len Lye Centre adjoins the existing Govett-Brewster Gallery and provides some great spaces to display more of Len’s kenetic sculptures and other works.

Designed by Pattterson Associates the building is a sculpture in and of itself, the exterior is absolutely stunning and the concrete interior provides a wonderful contrast.

The level of detailing is some of the best I have seen.

While New Plymouth isn’t on the ‘main road’ between Auckland and Wellington it now sports a piece of World Class Architecture (in amongst many other gems) and is well worth a visit – even in the rain!

Gibbs Farm

Yesterday the Cadimage Team visited the Gibbs Farm Sculpture Park. This is something I have wanted to do for a while, but it is only open once a month, you need to plan well ahead.

By signing up months in advance you need to take a risk with the weather and while we got pretty wet we have a great time walking around the park and staring in awe at the scale of many of the sculptures.

I especially liked Horizons by Neil Dawson and how he has used the open space to create an amazing optical illusion.

The shear size of Bernar Venet’s 88.5° ARC x 8 is something you have to close to truly experience.

While Dismemberment, Site 1 by Anish Kapoor needs you to step back to observe it’s scale – especially when trying to photograph it!

It might have been wet, but it was well worth the visit.

Ten Types of Innovation

On Monday night I attended a joint Deloitte PrivateCallaghan Innovation presentation by Larry Keeley.

Larry was an excellent presenter with deep knowledge and a number interesting well researched examples.

The key message was:

Modern innovation is more about elegant integration than invention…

Larry suggested that most recent innovations are not new products per se, but more integrations of a number of existing products in new and innovative ways.

Larry has been researching Innovation with his team for a couple of decades and during this time they have developed the Ten Types of Innovation – the Discipline of Building Breakthroughs.


I first came across these Ten Types in the earlier Doblin Model of Innovation and while the principles remain the same the updated model is, in my opinion, far clearer and easier to use.

Most companies spend too much time in the middle (orange) cells focusing on the product, without spending time working on the other areas. A simple rule of thumb for the model above is to focus on five of the ten types, with at least one from each colour – refer to their website for a full run down on each section.

Larry illustrated which areas a number of both NZ and International companies are working on with what one can only describe as some disturbing results for some of NZ’s up and coming companies. That said, the model helps point out where these companies are lacking and is the perfect starting point to review and improve from.

Overall it was a most enjoyable presentation and I am sure Larry’s other New Zealand presentations have been equally well received.

Flounders Club

On Wednesday night I was invited to speak at the Flounders Club.

The theme for the night was Pricing and Revenue Models and as the oldest company there I was the last to speak so was wondering how much I’d have to add to the topic after hearing from Dale from Weirdly and Vaughan from Vend.

As it turned out while we were all on the same page, we had all got there in different ways. This in essence sums up pricing in my mind – experiment, experiment experiment.

Dale explained how they had continued testing different pricing and even updated what service they actually sell (though not as a result of changing the product).

Vaughan talked about Negative Churn as the holy grail for a SaS business and how to set about achieving this – or at least trying to.

I talked about the history of our Cadimage pricing over the last 10 years and how we recently moved from a perpetual model to a SaS model.

Overall it seemed that the biggest questions for the night revolved around the assumptions required to get a SaS business started.  All three of us were asked the question in different ways but ultimately the message was, you have to make some assumptions (and various rules of thumb were suggested) and then you just need to get started, experiment and evolve. The more you get into it the more you can tweak your original assumptions.



Sir Ian Athfield FNZIA, PPNZIA

On the 31st December 2014, Ian Athfield – an absolute legend of New Zealand Architecture – was Knighted in the New Years Honours list.

When I read that news I decided I should post some of his work to celebrate this achievement.

Unfortunately, today I have been prompted to post on the sad news of his passing.

It is impossible to have studied Architecture in New Zealand and not have heard of Ath. His work across the country and most concentrated in Wellington will be a constant reminder of his contribution to our built environment.

There are some great photos being posted on twitter that are worth checking out including his sprawling house in Khandallah.