||Marshal McLuhan said, "The medium is the message." More true today than ever, with the increased use of audiovisual, IT, building energy management, and security technologies in commercial and institutional buildings, McLuhan's words ring true. As a result, architects and interior designers find they are working earlier and more closely with technology consultants in their designs.|
||Many firms find that considering technology early in the design process helps inform and improve the resulting building. I had the opportunity to speak with several architects about technology integration in their projects.
Jennifer K. Cordes, AIA, LEED® AP, Principal with SLATERPAULL Architects in Denver, Colorado, comments,
||"Our clients recognize that information and possibilities lie far beyond the four walls of their project. Today's buildings have the potential to link people to the outside world in real time. Technology has helped us achieve this goal and thus the technology designers have become an integral part of our design teams. Their knowledge and vision continually help us crystallize our concepts for innovative learning environments."|
Rod Kruse, FAIA LEED® AP, Principal with BNIM in Des Moines, Iowa, adds, "Early and continued identification and coordination of the audiovisual requirements as an integral part of the design process is critical to the ultimate success of the facility and reduces the need for redesigning later in the process."
Engaging a technology professional to identify, consider and budget technology at the beginning of the project process ensures that the
||design optimally integrates technology. The savings to the project can be significant. Technology planning itemizes first costs for a responsible minimum investment and provides benchmarks for long-term cost of ownership.|
Brad Lukanic AIA, LEED® AP, Principal – Higher Education, with
||CANNON DESIGN in New York, New York, says, "Technology's infusion into architecture can no longer be considered an afterthought in planning buildings today. As architects and planners it is imperative we collaborate with our technology partners at the earliest stages of a project to best respond to the changing dynamics of learning, teaching, and exploring."|
John C. Guenther, FAIA, LEED® AP, Architect in St. Louis, Missouri, notes, "Buildings continue to evolve and transform into ever more flexible spaces to handle a range of applications and approaches for a broad range of clients. Rapidly changing media and technology used to transmit information raise issues ranging from sight lines to natural and artificial lighting, from acoustics to material selections, from planning for flexible, adaptable uses and reconfigurations to providing for a supporting, flexible, and user-friendly infrastructure."
|CREATING A TECHNOLOGY VISION|
||Before the project program is developed, clients benefit from "blue sky" visionary thinking of what could be, not just what is. Scheduling a technology visioning session before a project starts can open the eyes of building owners and occupants to new possibilities. While some of these options may not be economically or technically viable, the |
||building design should consider accommodating their future availability. A technology vision focuses on capabilities to improve communication, collaboration and content.|
Annette Wiley, AIA, LEED® AP, Associate Principal and Interior Design Discipline Leader at Perkins+Will in Los Angeles, CA,
|| says, "Our clients are looking for increasingly sophisticated solutions for audiovisual systems that drive everything from branding and identity to distance learning, visualization to research labs studying the impact of creativity on brain functions. Achieving all these applications requires early involvement, innovative thinking and collaboration between the audiovisual designer and the architectural design team."|
Emerging technologies are quickly moving from Hollywood's imagination to the boardroom making early planning more important. Cordes notes, "We have found that close coordination between the architect and technology designer is critical to the success of the project. We start with user group meetings that brainstorm the vision for the building. Once established, our team meets regularly with the technology designer to realize this vision through continuous coordination."
Kruse adds, "Audiovisual goals and requirements play a significant role in the shaping of the plan and volumetric provision of a facility. Understanding the impact of technology systems is essential during the early phases of design to assure a successful project."
|THE IMPORTANCE OF INFRASTRUCTURE|
||The best investment any building designer can make to accommodate technology is a robust and flexible infrastructure.|
With the advent of sensor technology, it has become credible to plan for a truly "self aware" building. With technology systems controlling everything from projectors to room dimming systems, window shades
|| and HVAC, an intelligent building design can mitigate energy usage while providing the occupants with a simplified and enriched experience and helping achieve sustainability goals.|
Cordes notes, "Infrastructure for future technology must be explored. Technology is constantly evolving and
the only way to keep up is to 'imagine' the possibilities. We have found that a wired infrastructure is required even in the ever-growing 'wireless' environment."|
The technology consultant plays a vital role in any architectural project where electronically enabled communication is important. The architectural designer and the consultant collaborate to achieve the architect's vision for the project.
Adding the client perspective, Jay Bond, AIA, Associate Vice President
||for Facility Management, California State University, Fullerton, says, "Increasingly, technology systems are an essential part of our learning environments. Early and|
frequent communication and coordination among the faculty users, architects, engineers, facility managers, campus IT managers, and the consultants is essential if expectations are to be met. The consultant can play a crucial role in ensuring that the right questions get asked at the right
|| time, and that proper answers are provided."|
Lukanic concluded, "Within the higher education landscape, technology is fundamental to learning, the acquisition of knowledge and sharing in collaborative ways among students and faculty alike. Today's incoming freshmen are fundamentally different from those five and ten years ago in how they engage in learning. Tomorrow's student and their exposure to rich forms of technology at even younger ages will fundamentally shape the education landscape in new unforeseen ways."
As many of these architects note, it is critical today for the designers and their technology advisors to work together to create spaces that|
|| not only meet the client's needs and goals, but achieve a high degree of technology integration, improved communication and collaboration and result in an enhanced experience. As technology becomes more of a utility than a specialty, the occupants and users|
of buildings expect high levels of easy-to-use resources. Integrating
||technology into architecture is an important step to meeting this goal.
ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Portions of this issue of True North were drawn from Meet Your Future Partner by Craig Park, and published in the March/April 2011 edition of PRO AV magazine. These excerpts appear here with permission.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Craig Park FSMPS, Assoc. AIA, is a principal with The Sextant Group, and is based in Omaha, Nebraska. Trained as an architect, Craig has practiced as an AV consultant for more than 25 years. Share your thoughts on the topic - contact Craig at 402.218.2117 or CPark@TheSextantGroup.com.
THE SEXTANT GROUP, INC.
The Sextant Group is an award-winning full service technology consulting firm specializing in the planning and design of educational, medical, corporate, government, institutional, performing arts, broadcast, and sports & recreation systems and facilities.
Recognized by architects and institutions internationally for the integration of communication technology into the built environment, The Sextant Group's services include audiovisual and information technologies, structured cabling, access/security, and architectural acoustics.
With over 800 active or successfully completed projects on over 200 campuses across North America, The Sextant Group operates offices in Atlanta, New York, Omaha, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Santa Barbara and Washington DC.
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Kevin Givler CTS, CTI comes to The Sextant Group with 30 years experience in academic facility planning and design for Ohio State University. As our newest business school expert (most recently Kevin was Director of Educational Technologies for OSU’s Fisher College of Business), he offers expertise in distance learning, virtual classrooms, and other learning technologies.
Nancy Sturm is an award-winning educator, thought leader and education transformation specialist with a life-long calling to motivate students and coach faculty. As a former Executive Director of the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, Nancy has been education advisor to state and national executives at the highest level, and now offers new resources for architects and educators alike.
CLICK HERE: LEARN MORE
CLICK HERE: LEARN MORE
SPEAKING OF TECHNOLOGY…
Mark Valenti CTS
Presenter for InfoComm 2011, "Space, Time and Technology – the Future of AV" Orlando FL, June 15
Panelist for EdTech 2011, "Space, Time and Technology – the Future of AV" Orlando FL, June 16
Presenting "A Business Plan That Works" to the Independent Consultants in Audiovisual Technology (ICAT) Council Business Conference,Orlando FL, June 17
John Cook CTS
Moderating session at the APPA 2011 National Conference titled "Balancing Tradition with Innovation:
Is There Room for Both?",
Atlanta GA, July 16 – 18
John Cook CTS and Nancy Sturm present “No More Death By PowerPoint: Learning Spaces that Truly Transform the Learning Experience” at the Michigan APPA 2011 Summer Conference at Northern Michigan University in Marquette MI on July 18-20
Mark Valenti recently participated in InfoComm's "Members-Only Roundtable" in Atlanta GA, March 23. He presented "The Emerging Intelligent Campus" at California State University Northridge Facilities Workshop on March 24, and also was featured presenter for MediaSite "Unleash 2011" User's Group May 18, presenting "Personal Learning: The Dawn of Mass Customization of Training and Education"
John Cook CTS recently was an invited participant to the APPA Thought Leaders Seminar, April 7, 2011 in Asheville NC
James Viviano CTS was recent presenter at the Keystone APPA titled "NO MORE BAND-AIDS: Cost-Effective Classroom Upgrades that Truly Transform the Learning Experience," April 27 at the Pennsylvania State University
Craig Park FSMPS, Assoc AIA made two presentations for the Society of Marketing Professional Services:
SMPS Missouri Regional Conference
"The Architecture of Image: Building Your Professional Service Brand"
Kansas City MO, April 7
SMPS Southeast Regional Conference
"Marketing & The Technical Professional"
Atlanta GA, April 17
Mark Gillis served as a judge for the PRO AV Awards presented June 16th in Orlando FL.
Terry Caywood CPSM was selected as a judge for the SMPS Marketing Communications Awards that were held April 9 in Houston TX
Jeanna Zelin has been appointed SMPS Arizona Media Relations / Communications Chair for 2011.
Projects recently completed
or currently in design:
CLASSROOMS & TEACHING LABS
New York University
21 Washington Place
New York NY
Western Michigan University
College of Education Sangren Hall
HUMANITIES & SOCIAL SCIENCES
University of Iowa
Iowa City IA
Elizabeth City State University
School of Education & Psychology
Elizabeth City NC
SCIENCE & RESEARCH
Life Sciences Center
San Bernardino Valley College
Chemistry & Physical
San Bernardino CA
Halo Room and Holodeck
New Corporate Headquarters
California University of Pennsylvania
Phillipsburg Data Center
Main Telecom Room
University of California Los Angeles
Los Angeles CA
University of Alberta
Edmonton Clinic North
SPORTS & RECREATION
Penn State University
Collegiate Softball, Women's Field Hockey Video Scoreboards
University Park PA
Western State College of Colorado
Recreation Center/Field House
HEALTH & MEDICAL
University of Virginia School
Outpatient Imaging Facility
ACADEMIC LIBRARIES & LEARNING CENTERS
University of Iowa
Trowbridge Hall Learning Center
Iowa City IA
MEDIA & ARTS EDUCATION
Scripps College of Communications
Middle Tennessee State University
Southeastern Louisiana University
Youngstown State University
Kilcawley Student Center
Department of Defense
United States Army Medical Command
Fort Detrick Education Center
Human Services Complex
Brooklyn Public Library
The Musical Instrument Museum
Audio Mixing Room