CannonDesigners share their experiences from the AIA National Convention 2016

One of the most anticipated annual events for designers – The AIA National Convention – took place in Philadelphia on May 19-21 and CannonDesign was well-represented. Billed as the ultimate convention for the architectural profession to share cutting-edge innovation and ideas, this year’s event drew more than 21,000 attendees and featured over 500 sessions including world-renowned speakers like Rem Koolhaas and Neri Oxman.

Several CannonDesigners were able to attend the event this year and share their experiences and key takeaways with us:

Brian Skripac speaks about BIM and Digital Practice

BIM digital practice tweet“As expected, the convention had a wide range of sessions that covered the application of BIM in practice, including the session I had the opportunity to lead titled “Advancing from BIM Management to Digital Practice.” I was truly excited by the response to this session, which focused on how we’re working to reinvent the BIM process for greater quality and usefulness. The effort in establish quality BIM strategies and planning efforts was certainly a recurring theme during the convention. In addition to this planning effort, other topics included managing the risks of model sharing and the need to enhance communication and collaboration around BIM (which points back to the strategic planning effort).Extending this conversation further, other presenters explored how emerging technologies like mobile solutions and virtual reality are becoming a more common part of the design process, which is very similar to what we’re seeing here at CannonDesign.” – Brian Skripac @BrianSkripac

Philly in the early morning before the AIA National Convention 2016.

Philly in the early morning before the AIA National Convention 2016.

A great event in a great city

John Phung now lives and works in our LA, but did spend a year living in Philadelphia, a city he loves. He was able to take this great photo of the city on a morning run before the convention activities got rolling.

Sessions that left an impression

“The session entitled ‘“Getting Decisions that Stick”’ left a strong impression on me.  I have always been interested in the process of decision making and the psychology behind how and why people make the choices they do.  This lecture discussed the flow of decision making, leadership techniques and ‘problem-seeking’ methodologies. Perhaps the key takeaway for me is the statement “Don’t ask for decisions.  Facilitate them.”  That statement aligns with CannonDesign’s philosophy of being our clients trusted advisors.

Other takeaways include:

  • Leadership requires both high intellect and emotional intelligence
  • We facilitate informed decisions that are only as good as the information known at the time of the decision
  • A thought provocting Forbes article was referenced: ‘”It’s not all about EQ: Study suggests a new balance between emotions and Intellect“‘
  • The presentation offered a look at different learning styles – Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic

– Stephen Winikoff @swinikoff101

AIA 2016 National Convention

“I had a great time at the AIA conference. Along with the amazing sessions and inspirational keynotes, I would have to say my favorite part about the conference was meeting old colleagues and connecting with new individuals from around the country. I think some of the most important assets in the architectural community are its people. It was interesting to learn what other teams were trying, and whether or not it was working. When you’re at the AIA conference, it doesn’t feel like a competition to make your firm seem the greatest, it feels like one large collective learning experience where everyone learns from everyone else.” – Hunter Young

AIA National Convention 2016 connecting entrance“I mostly attended for the seminars, of which I attended 11, all technically based, and they confirmed that we’re doing a lot of things right in understanding the science of building envelopes.  I also enjoyed the product floor, seeing and touching new materials and products, and discussing new technologies with manufacturers’ representatives.” – Frank Sturniolo

Solving big challenges

The conference was an opportunity for the industry to come together as a whole to teach, collaborate and learn. We look forward to participating and contributing to the conference for years to come.