First Things First
A Special Report from the AIA National Convention.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010.
Hundreds of vendors and thousands of architects and design professionals have begun streaming into the convention center. The first continuing education sessions are about to launch.
How can small firms navigate the economy and the shifting technological expectations of the industry? When attendees of the Small Firm Management seminar were asked if they had a presence on Facebook, 4 out of about 30 raised their hands. Beyond that, small firm principals reported several key concerns; financial management, certainly, but also better ways for small firms to collaborate and share resources, developing new services, and identifying how the AIA can serve shops with an average of 10-15 employees.
On The Spot
Brian Lee, 26
Founder and Principal, SOA Design
Lee, who started the Ohio State chapter of NOMAS, remains active in NOMA a year after graduating. He started SOA Design, a multi-media architecture firm, while waiting to take his licensure exam. Lee hopes to grow his practice beyond renderings, drafting, photography, and web design. “All my clients are in New Jersey,” he said, “and I’m here to help NOMA and develop my work.”
Hundreds of exhibitors are working toward the opening of the expo tomorrow, when approximately 20,000 architects, media members, and industry professionals will create a critical mass of attendees. Exhibitors are excited, if still a little worried, that they’ll be ready in time. “We’re moving along here, but I think we’ll be more than ready for tomorrow,” said Sandra Buzzi, representing Skyfold Powerlift Partitions and parent company Lamcel.