Giving 400 virtual attendees

a hands-on generative design experience

at Microsoft's flagship Future Now Conference


MakeLab studio worked with Microsoft and Autodesk to create a 10-minute hands-on generative design workshop. 400 attendees got to design their own artifact from home, and receive them in the mail.


The experience was designed specifically for a conference about the impact of Artificial Intelligence, and to show off Surface Studio's bona fides as a powerful and beautiful tool for design and innovation.

Future Now is Microsoft Canada's premier event for Canadian business leaders, focused on real-world digital transformation and AI innovation. Virtual attendees could select one of ten workshops held across the two-day event. 


Led by MakeLab creative director Jonathan Moneta, and technical lead Amy Wang, guests were given a quick but comprehensive introduction to generative design, and its impact on industry and manufacturing. Guests used Microsoft OneNote to collaborate on a shared canvas, working together to draw starting shapes for the generative design software to use. After participants drew shapes, our design team imported the canvas into Autodesk Fusion 360. Guests watched as the software generated gorgeous artifacts based on their work.

Workshops were held using Microsoft Teams, with MakeLab moderators on hand to answer questions as they came up. At the conclusion of the workshops, designs were laser-cut, and mailed out to each participant.

This experience was an authentic demonstration of the power and precision of both Microsoft Surface, Autodesk 360, and Microsoft OneNote. The MakeLab team collaborated with Autodesk engineers out of San Francisco and Toronto to ensure the experience was a true representation of the capabilities of the platform, and worked with the Microsoft team to ensure the experience leveraged key capabilities of Surface Studio.

More than just a demonstration, and more than a fun experience for guests, the MakeLab team also delivered key context and education on the power of generative design, and the effect artificial intelligence is having on the human designer. It was an experience seamlessly integrated into the conference program, and refreshingly interactive in an otherwise virtual event world.

Guests received their custom generatively-designed artifact in the mail.

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