Here’s one paradox of online friends. I know an incredible community of people via social networks. Now, thanks to the generous tweets during AIA2010, I realize I have far more reasons to actually BE at the convention.
I experienced an oddly compelling separation anxiety. Why wasn’t I there, dancing in the street with Tabitha Ponte @designstudio26 and Susan Welker @ladyaia? How did I miss @stevemouzon’s presentation? Or Mike Plotnik @somechum, Ned Cramer @architectmag, and Marc Kushner @architizer’s panel?
In other words, paradoxically, online engagement makes real life ftf meetings more essential. Next year in New Orleans, I’ll be there. A tweet up, anyone?
Best Session 1 – Dan Pink
Two sessions stood out via tweets. These sessions just so happened to begin and end the convention. Some folks weren’t there yet on Thursday at 8 and others were gone by Saturday afternoon. Too bad.
The convention formally opened with Daniel Pink’s keynote Thursday. I own several of Pink’s books so his topic “The Role of Right-Brain Thinking in a Modern Economy” grabbed my attention. “People need to teach children to think like an architect.” Well, what self-righteous architect would argue with that? He suggested the US economy should be concerned about Asia, automation and abundance. By abundance, I think he means watch out for scarcity thinking. There’s not just one pie to divide up; make more pies. To take advantage of our right-brains, we need to think in terms of design, stories, and symphony.
Best Session 2 – New Media
At the Saturday afternoon New Media panel, the dynamic trio of Mike Plotnik @SomeChum @HOKNetwork, Ned Cramer @Architizer, and Marc Kushner @architectmag covered all the bases– architecture firm, print/online media, and architects’ social network.
Ned Cramer @architectmag says that online media tries give the feel of the print experience, its materiality. You can see that’s their goal in Architect Magazine’s page-flip format; it even mimics page flipping. To avoid the sins of pure eye candy (as much as we architects appreciate gorgeous buildings), they balance culture, technology, practice, and design.
Marc Kushner @architizer set out to create a new model of information exchange for architects. They want to be what LinkedIn can’t be for architecture – a purely open sourced network. I would say Architizer operates a lot like a wiki; part firm brochure, part resume, part architecture culture, part social. The amount of material is exploding.
Mike described HOK’s process of setting up HOKLife in 2008. Because of a dearth of prior architecture models for social blogging, they visited the new media lab at the University of Virginia. HOK’s site now has what he refers to as a “living room AND a family room;” meaning the formal marketing portion and the blogging portion. He sees the two merging in the future. Their social media component has helped “solve a true business challenge,” that is, recruiting new talent.
His final thought: “It’s important not just to be on social media nodes, but to have a point of view.” You bet it is. That’s always been true about architecture. I’m seconding that.
[Mike recently invited me to write the first guest post for HOKLife, an excellent experience for me. including a couple of new friends.]
With social media, we have to express our philosophy in words AND in buildings. In a social world, people can judge our words better than they can understand our architectural designs. We lose the mystical veil of expertise and have to simply talk with people.
I’m hopeful we can make the shift to the new sociability; are you?
See you in New Orleans May 2011? I’m thinking about a social tech session. Who would you want to hear? What should we cover?
Gratitude and resources:
Photo credit @liraluis posted “one of the more innovative booth designs” http://ping.fm/Ir4PL. Let her explain that one. It confused and amused people all week. Hint: Rhino modeling.
Daniel Pink’s Keynote — thank you Susan Welker @ladyaia and @archaerie!
New Media Panel – thank you @stevemouzon, @GinaRMiller, and @Architizer!
You can see handouts online: http://tinyurl.com/244vj8x (Thank you, Heather West @heatherwestpr).
I was intrigued by WorldViz’s booth on virtual reality, always looking towards next innovations.