My time at AIA was very limited, so I didn’t come close to seeing everything and everyone I wanted. But I feel like I was there long enough to make some observations. The buzz was positive, exhibitors seemed happy though the inconsistent flow of architects, which is an AIA staple, was still happening. Philadelphia did attract a lot of northeast architects, and I talked with one from Boston who hadn’t been to an AIA event in years. I have a feeling he was not the exception this year.
The overall design of the exhibits was fantastic. There is no doubt that budgets really swelled this year, as there were some excellent booths. Which ones really caught my eye? Viracon had a massive display showing their future oversize capabilities. The way they positioned it in their space, just drew people to it. Pleotint with a great video wall in a bright and open display was strong, and kudos to Guardian who made subtle but very smart and effective upgrades to their standard show booth. I also really liked GGI’s as well; they had so much glass showing, and there seemingly was a decorative style for any taste.
Other trends at play were the Division 10 offerings and traditional residential window people pushing new products for the commercial space. There was a lot to see but unfortunately my time just did not allow it. And speaking of time, why the AIA chose to close the show at four o'clock instead of five is baffling to me. I know I could’ve used the extra hour.
I assume that the keynote of Julia Louis Dreyfus was fine, but no one spoke of it to me. It surely did not have an impact like past speakers. Still a head-scratching call.
So once the show ended and the lights were quickly shut off, I had a little time before heading out to the airport. So being in Philly, I looked up where “Rocky’s Steps” were. I am a huge Rocky guy. My son is as well. So I had to make the pilgrimage. Luckily I was joined by the best-dressed guy in North America, Danik Dancause of Walker Glass (outfit: Amazing blue suit & bow tie). So Danik and I walked the almost two miles, through the maze of Philly road and sidewalk construction and roundabouts to make it to the famous Philadelphia Museum of Art. It was surely something to see, and yes I did make sure to get a picture next to the classic Rocky statue. No time to run the steps though, plus in my current crummy shape that was a heart attack waiting to happen.
- The latest Architectural Billings Index was released this week and it is still in positive territory. The interesting nugget from this report was that the “New Design Contracts” category jumped to its highest rating since last summer. There were other pieces I want to get to on this and I’ll hit on them on my next post.
- Last this week, just a heads up for a great website for technical and educational resources. Check out www.Glassdocs.com and see that it is a treasure trove of information. The latest addition “All About Glass and Metal” is geared towards Architects and Specifiers, and it’s a strong piece that I am sure many will find helpful.