January 8, 2008
by: Daniel Fox

(continued from above)

Small stone makes big waves. At the session entitled The Transitional Small Practice: Alternate management strategies, Daniel M. Garber (of the Fergus Garber Group, Palo Alto, CA) showed how small, growth-hungry firms must employ innovative often riskier, design and delivery methods to replace safer traditional methods.

Garber’s view on integrating roles in the firm when transitioning from 2-D to 3-D/BIM is shown in the chart. The chart shows changes from 2006 to 2007 in the readiness of staff at several levels to take on progressively more sophisticated design and delivery tools (numbers at left show years of experience).

When smartly done, results are:

· better coordinated production
· streamlined production documentation
· greater client participation in design phase
· shorter design cycle.

Town Hall tales. The proceedings ended with a novel device called the Town Hall. Genially presided over by Architectural Record deputy editor Charles Linn, FAIA, this town hall mushroomed fast into informal, animated, often blunt exchanges, as though the pent up listening of the previous two days finally detonated into some frank but all-in-all civil exchanges. Topics: BIM and its high technical but low design impact; the undesirable designation (by architects) of the architect as Master Builder (preferred: Team Captain; Master Coordinator); the dangers of getting lost inside the new technology; the paradox of earning HSW credits at BIM-related sessions but none on managing people; anxiety as motivator; and the risks inherent in the new technology of making decisions too fast, without enough thought.

AIA has promised to make transcripts of talks available at about this time on its website.


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