AEC and Design get social in Social Media


(view Original Article here)

Event Statistics

Industry: AEC, Architecture & Design
Speaker: Lira Luis, AIA, RIBA, CeMA, LEED AP BD+C
Main Sponsors: CWA, AIA Chicago, Porcelanosa
Co-Sponsors: Allsteel, Herman Miller
Target Turnout: 50
Actual Turnout: 75 (including staff)
Location: Porcelanosa showroom, Merchandise Mart
Takeaway: “We don't have a choice on whether we DO social media, the question is how well we DO it.” ~ Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics and Digital Leader

In my presentation, “How To Leverage Social Technologies For A Sustainable Practice” at the 2011 AIA National Convention in New Orleans, I've shared information on whether architects, designers, interior designers, engineers, or contractors, can use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc. to find work or new project opportunities. It included crowdfunding and crowdsourcing platforms for projects, as well as strategies for winning online competitions and cloud computing.

“The selection of your proposal is a testament to the quality of the program content and the merits of your contribution”, says Clark Manus, FAIA (2011 AIA President) and Marion L. Fowlkes, FAIA (AIA 2011 National Convention Chair), in an email notification that the presentation was selected as part of the 2011 National Convention and Design Exposition. At the conclusion of that event, the presentation was selected as one of AIA Virtual Convention's "Best of San Francisco, Miami and New Orleans".

This year, I collaborated with the Chicago Women in Architecture (CWA), AIA Chicago, and Porcelanosa to bring this presentation to Chicago.

Here's what some of those who attended shared in social media channels:

From Lina Grigaitis, AIA via LinkedIn: “Lira Luis gave a fantastic presentation tonight! I am already putting the many useful tips to work for me. I will definitely see her at 2012 Neocon in Chicago for another one of her presentations! I highly recommend seeing her presentation wherever she may be giving one!”

ReTweet from @claire_monette: "Enjoyed a great presentation tonight by @liraluis on Social Media for the A&D Industry!"

ReTweet from @oolretaw: "@liraluis great lecture tonight! And congrats on being the hottest architect! :) "

ReTweet from @sidelano: "Attended a great event last night @Porcelanosa Chicago with @liraluis presenting. Was awesome"

From JOHN PRICE, AIA, LEED® AP, NCARB via email: "Good morning, Lira. Just wanted to say that I really enjoyed your program last night."

ReTweet from @FirmAbility: "Chicago's own - @liraluis helping to bring the design industry into the SM world. Great presentation last night!"

ReTweet from @kleimkuehler: "great event last night!"

From J'nai Gaither via email: "Hey Lira, I just wanted to say that you did a PHENOMENAL job last night! You're such a natural at giving presentations. And it was easy to follow and relevant! Go you! I was SO impressed!"

ReTweet from @DeniseButchko: "Excellent presentation at Porcelenosa - thanks!"

ReTweet from @Amberlee_Design (NELSON): "Thank you so much for such an eye-opening presentation last Thusday! I can't wait to share what I learned with my firm :) "

From Verna J. Brooks, Assoc. IIDA, LEED AP via LinkedIn: "Excellent presentation Lira -- and kudos to Chicago Women in Architecture & the Porcelanosa Showroom at the Mart!"

From Brett Young via Facebook: “great speaker, fun event, wonderful hosts, lovely space”

A new media channel, Firmability, was introduced in the presentation. It's a new social platform that can potentially be the “Yelp” (a social networking, user review, and local search web site) of the AEC Industry. Go to Firmability’s website to learn more.

Graphic Invite by CWA, BaBette Scheidt
The event on March 22nd was attended by a variety of architects, engineers, and contractors, including manufacturers, coming from small, medium, to large firms. (image by CWA, BaBette Scheidt)
Porcelanosa, the venue host, kicked off the event with generous refreshments while the guests networked prior to the presentation. They also gave a tour of their newly renovated showroom.
A co-working Dream Space for AEC and Design Industry
"Porcelanosa is creating a Dream Space for designers--dedicated to innovation, the new Porcelanosa Library (Dream Space) will house all stocked floor and wall coverings as well as our most creative designs with six work stations and a private conference room.  Our open plan will be housed within 25% of the Porcelanosa showroom at Luxe Home suite 149 in the Merchandise Mart.  Designers can freely stop in to use the space as well as view our newest products," explains Peter Lollias, Midwest Sales Manager of Porcelanosa USA.
Lira Luis
I delivered my speech to an interested audience. Shortly after the presentation, those in attendance started to share what they experienced at the event, through social media channels. (image Brett Young)
One of the highlights of the event was the introduction of Firmability, a new social platform that can potentially be the “Yelp” (a social networking, user review, and local search web site) of the AEC Industry. Jim from Firmability was present to share the news, “ is a brand new social review site specifically tailored for the design and construction industry. We're extremely excited to announce the launch of FirmAbility! We've been working diligently to create this powerful new community that is geared towards revolutionizing and improving the entire construction and design industry! Best of all... it's Free!” (image by Firmability)
Guest-Howard Alan
One of the many notables in attendance was Howard Alan. He's a fellow member of Friends of Kebyar, who share similar philosophies on Organic Architecture. He's an architect who worked with Bruce Goff.