At Studio Libeskind, HP powers creativity

With its new reinvented workstations, HP helps the prominent architecture firm move forward.

By Garage Staff — December 1, 2017

Each project tackled by the design studio of famed architect Daniel Libeskind begins with an idea and ends with a story told in space, time and materials. But how does that happen? 

The hard part — which has stalled many ambitious projects over the years — is making that leap from conceptual dream to reality. Advanced technology has made that easier. Computers have replaced drafting tables at every architect’s desk, and computer-aided design (CAD) software is used to visually prototype, test and share ideas instantly.

And yet. When HP researched the design world, it found that only 42 percent of the world’s 11 million designers use workstations — computers that are designed to be more powerful and reliable than consumer or business machines. That means that much of their work — from designing shoes and furniture to skyscrapers and spaceships — was happening on less-than-optimal equipment.

That’s why the company went back to the drawing board to reinvent the workstation.

HP’s new workstation — the Z2 Mini — puts a powerful computer in a package small enough to fit on a desk or be mounted behind one of the six displays it’s capable of running.

“When we first opened the boxes, we were immediately surprised by the Z2’s size,” says Studio Libeskind partner Carla Swickerath. “It's about 90 percent smaller than a traditional tower.”

The powerful HP Z2 Mini was refashioned to cater to designers’ needs.

Courtesy of HP

The powerful HP Z2 Mini was refashioned to cater to designers’ needs.

The Z2 Mini is also built to be whisper-quiet, with a unique design that channels heat from its processors to vents at its four corners. That not only minimizes fan noise but also prevents the heat emitted from the processors from cross-polluting each other.

Because the Z2 is designed to sit on a desk or behind a monitor, its vents do not get plugged with debris from the floor. As a result, it runs cooler, says Sean Young, HP’s worldwide segment manager of workstations. 

“I hear stories of computers generating so much heat that companies have to blast the air conditioning even in winter,” Young says. “People come to work wearing jackets because it's so cold, but they also come to work wearing shorts, because it's so warm under the desk.”

HP’s Z2 Minis are tested for 368,000 hours and are certified to run more than 20 professional software applications, including the CAD programs used by the architects and designers at Studio Libeskind and other builders of mission-critical products.

“This workstation is beautiful, inspiring and reflective of the aesthetic that our customers aspire to,” Young says.

To studio founder Daniel Libeskind, the mind is still the source of architectural solutions, while technology is the enabler.

“With this amazing technology, we can do things that we could have done in the past, but it would have taken many, many years,” he says. “These buildings probably would never have been built in our lifetime, and certainly not more than one project at one time.”

To learn more about how the Z2 Mini offers Libeskind new opportunities to expand his creative vision, watch the video below.