Nov 7, 201301:00 PMPoint of View
Autodesk Donates Software to U.S. Nonprofits
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As you know, Autodesk makes a wide range of software in use by everyone from school children to NASA engineers, from digital media and entertainment design to architecture and engineering, from Avatar to the Freedom Tower. Their product, however, is not cheap, especially for new users and start-ups. A single program can represent a big investment. Like many other software developers, Autodesk has long encouraged the use if its programs by providing students and educational institutions with limited licenses, but these provisions rarely extend to users beyond the dot-edu.
This fall non-profits in the U.S. should know that a generous program from the Autodesk Foundation is underway. The program, called Technology Impact, was announced at this year’s Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting and aims to provide 500 nonprofits with premium design software packages at no cost. “We chose the CGI venue,” said Lynelle Cameron, president of the Autodesk Foundation and senior director of sustainability for Autodesk, “because their members are designers in the broadest sense of the word – leaders of the public, private and nonprofit sectors who are actively shaping our collective future and turning ideas into action.” Early recipients, such as Design Revolution, MASS Design Group, and KickStart International, certainly fit that description.
Cholera Treatment Center, Haiti
Courtesy MASS Design Group
Michael Murphy, founder of MASS, described to us the needs of non-profits as two-fold: “As a not-for-profit organization providing leading design and construction services in underserved areas across the globe, MASS relies on a combination of grassroots energy and state-of-the-art technology to effectively execute our projects and processes.” The tools for design can be as important as the work in the field. “By providing free licenses to non-profits,” he adds, “the Autodesk Foundation is allowing organizations to operate to their fullest potential, and has helped enable MASS to bring architecture to communities otherwise excluded from good design.” For an account of Murphy’s early work, read “Social Design: Straight Out of School”
MASS Design Group, Boston Office