Saturday, 21 May 2016

AIA Convention 2016

I spent a little time this week attending the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Convention in Philadelphia USA.

It was fascinating being a part of the 10,000 person event which had hundreds of presentations and hundreds of exhibitors in the historic city of Philadelphia.

The opening keynote was set in a huge auditorium on a circular stage with the delegates positioned on all sides. Past presidents of the AIA were thanked, the best places to visit in Philadelphia were mentioned and credit was given to a number of architects who had worked on significant projects in the last year.

The award for the firm of the year went to LMN Architects from Seattle. Their video giving an overview of their practice is below...

The opening event was very much a celebration of the architectural profession - turning the ordinary into the extraordinary. The AIA talked about their digital transformation strategy with new website and social media campaigns. Their short film below has also been showing on American TV promoting the benefits of architecture...

The opening keynote speaker is traditionally one from outside the industry. This year it was the actress Julia Louis Dreyfus who is best known for her roles on Seinfeld and Veep. As I am a huge fan of Veep it was pretty good to listen to her speak first hand.
That's like using a croissant as a...
The exhibition hall at the conference was huge. It was good to see some of the familiar business from the UK were out at the event promoting their products and services. The photo below shows the stand from the AIA's equivalent from across the Atlantic the RIBA. Many of the architects in the USA are actually members of the RIBA too. When speaking to them it was good to hear that they appreciated reading the RIBA Journal to keep updated with the activity in the UK.
The RIBA Enterprises delegation does their bit on the RIBA exhibition stand
Amongst the other presentations over the day, as always it was good to listen to Autodesk talk about their future vision. In particular, Angi Izzi talked about how technology was helping architects become more efficient and offer more to clients. The video below is from Angi presenting a few months before the AIA Convention...

Another notable presentation was from Brian Skirpac from Canon Design. I had met Brian at the European BIM Summit earlier in the year so it was good to have the chance to hear him present for an hour. Many of the things we are trying to introduce into the UK such as responding to employer's information requirements and putting together a BIM execution plan were covered by Brian.
Brian Skripac talks LOD as part of a BIM at planning process 
We also had lots of very interesting meetings with organisations like ourselves where we shared what activities we were focusing on. It was nice to see some real interest and nice compliments in the NBS BIM Toolkit and the other NBS products and services. For more information on the BIM Toolkit please watch the short video below...

It's hard to do justice to all of the things that were on in a single blog post. But it was a great few days in the USA...
Welcome to the USA

An English gents beats the Americans at their own game and wins the IPAD 2 at the convention basketball competition ;)

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