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FOREFRONT: Architects as Collaborative Leaders

This conference really opened my eyes to what collaborative
architecture is about. - Bruce Miya, AIA

Conference Intent

The design and construction of buildings is rapidly becoming more collaborative and integrated, facilitated by technologies such as building information modeling (BIM) and computational design, shifts in society and culture, and the broader economic climate. New structures for integrated and collaborative teams present architects with a new paradigm for leadership of design teams, causing them to redefine or even create their role within this process. Every member of the design team now has constant access to the project information during the design and construction process through integrated technologies and project structures. This opens design decisions to broader participation by the entire design team, making it more important than ever for architects to establish their role as leaders and coordinators in the design process. At the same time, new opportunities are opening up to architects to take a more active role in construction.

This conference posits that architects need new skill sets in addition to new technologies to reclaim their role as leaders in the enterprise of designing and constructing our built environment. If architects are to operate successfully and efficiently within the increasingly complex and fast-paced design development process, they need to harness the potential of emerging technologies. If they are to synthesize and coordinate the multi-faceted design and construction process, architects need to create a framework for inclusive discussions within these collaborative teams. If they are to be respected as leaders, architects need to communicate with their collaborators as equal partners in design. In short, architects must learn to lead integrated and collaborative teams.


FOREFRONT was a conference held on October 24-25, 2013 in Salt Lake City, UT. The event was jointly sponsored by the AIA Center for Integrated Practice – a nexus of the AIA Technology in Architectural Practice and Project Delivery Knowledge Communities – AIA Utah, and the University of Utah College of Architecture + Planning and is in partnership with the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA).

FOREFRONT Conference
October 24-25, 2013
Salt Lake City & County Building

FOREFRONT Conference Program Cover

Download the Final Onsite Program.

Thank You to Our Partners