Technology in Architectural Practice

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The AIA Technology in Architectural Practice Knowledge Community (TAP) serves as a resource for AIA members, the profession, and the public in the deployment of computer technology in the practice of architecture. TAP leaders monitor the development of computer technology and its impact on architecture practice and the entire building life cycle, including design, construction, facility management, and retirement or reuse.


Technology content at A'23

By Emma Tucker posted 04-13-2023 02:01 PM


If you are coming to the AIA Conference on Architecture (A’23) this year (June 7-10 in San Francisco), there are a couple official TAP events plus many more great sessions to consider! 


TAP events

Wednesday: TAP Symposium at A'23

TAP100  |  9am-6:30pm  |  7 LUs

New technology has changed how we do things, both in everyday tasks and within our industry—yet the adoption of new tech can be slow and uneven. Join us as we discuss the architect of now, charting the use of digital tools starting with CAD, the transition to BIM and computational design, and the emergence of big data. Our exploration will review the impact of technology on education and the preparation of students entering the workforce, the relationship between practice and our technology providers and the pros and cons of AEC firms developing their own software. This year’s congress will consist of the keynote lecture, three panel discussions, and a round table discussion where participants will define how the architect of 2030 will learn, develop as a professional and practice. 

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Friday: TAP Open Forum

EV308  |  10-11:30am

As the way we practice architecture rapidly changes through innovation, how are you keeping up with the trends? What technologies should our industry develop further to improve our built environment? The Technology in Architectural Practice advisory group members welcome you to join in our open discussion. Connect with others who are exploring these questions and take home fresh ideas for your own practice.

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Other sessions of interest


BIM for Project & Contract Management
WE108  |  9-11:30am  |  2.5 LUs

AECOO organizations worldwide face new challenges in managing projects when BIM and ISO19650 standards are required. In this practicum, architects and project managers will learn information they need to manage BIM aspects of project, not burdened with unnecessary technological detail, yet with sufficient practical application examples to help manage projects and fulfill client needs. Facilitators will present BIM concepts, terminology, and tools useful in managing BIM projects and lead participants in use of these tools to perform critical functions such as helping owners develop organizational information requirements, establish meaningful control and performance metrics, and develop a checklist they can take away for use in managing real-world BIM project.

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AR San Francisco: Past, Present, & Future
ET121a  |  12-1pm  |  1 LU  |  $45

(This event is available all four days of A'23—see description under Saturday)

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Architecture of Power: Emerging Technology, Disaster Recovery & Design Justice
WE409  |  2-3pm  |  1 LU

This session examines the important role of equitable energy and digital infrastructures in climate recovery, particularly in repeat-disaster locations such as Puerto Rico. A just recovery is not simply about building back as it was, but about strengthening social networks locally and globally. Review new digital tools and techniques for resilient energy and digital equity in community design and planning. Explore how architects can accommodate emerging technologies in architectural and urban design such as drone delivery and visual recognition to strengthen post-disaster communication networks and resource distribution, and use AI to help prepare for natural disasters.

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Rethink BIM 2023
EX401  |  10:30-11:30am  |  1 LU

When you work with software that continues to innovate, improve, and build on providing productivity, you can transform your practice. Santa Cruz–based Fuse Architects switched to BIM, and it has changed everything for them. We’ll explore how Fuse Architects changed their workflow. Accessing intuitive tools in BIM, enabling integrated workflow, and automating documentation processes improved the firm’s efficiency and increased profitability.

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AR San Francisco: Past, Present, & Future
ET121b  |  12-1pm  |  1 LU  |  $45

(This event is available all four days of A'23—see description under Saturday)

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The Blueprint for Specification Best Practices

EX303  |  1:30-2:30pm  |  1 LU

The wealth of knowledge, experience, and technical expertise of design professionals are critical for developing high-quality specifications. But capturing and disseminating firm best practices efficiently is cumbersome, which results in lesser-quality deliverables. What if there’s a better way? Join us in this session as we explore how firms can become more intentional in creating a culture of innovation, how implementing technology can play a meaningful role in automating specifications, and how to engage teams in that process through technology.

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Virtual Models & the Future of Digital Delivery: SoFi Stadium
TH101  |  2-3:30pm  |  1.5 LUs

Hear the success story of how HKS collaboratively delivered SoFi Stadium by relying on virtual models as an invaluable tool for both construction and jurisdiction approval. Learn how curvilinear forms and 3D models can capture geometry in ways that stamped drawings can’t. AIA Contract Documents are beginning to provide language that expands digital formats for an architect’s contract deliverables, and the model as a Contract Document is at the heart of 3D digital delivery.

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Do's & Don'ts of Data Standards
TH223  |  4-5pm  | 1 LU

Large organizations have competing interests for the capture, use, and transfer of data. Without properly defined requirements, AEC teams are left to interpret the owner's intent, resulting in information that is not fit for purpose. At project turnover, an owner will be unable to use the output provided to successfully integrate their existing systems and processes to operate their buildings and manage assets. This session will focus on how to guide your client in developing data standards that allow the design team to provide what is necessary for them to successfully run their buildings as well as their business.

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Bridging Design & Collaboration
EX306  |  12-1pm  |  1 LU

Benefits from BIM continue to expand as technology savvy firms bring it forward in their design process. Profitability and efficiency increase when a design-focused workflow supports immersive and collaborative technologies. Often, the typical design workflow does not capitalize on these elements. This session focuses on ways to break that cycle. Within the new normal of remote work, firms can improve communication, develop stunning presentations, and enhance building systems coordination within a single BIM platform.

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AR San Francisco: Past, Present, & Future
ET121c  |  12-1pm  |  1 LU  |  $45

(This event is available all four days of A'23—see description under Saturday)

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Enhanced Visualization & Reality Capture from a Bird’s Eye View
FR202  |  4-5pm  |  1 LU

New technologies for visualization and reality capture are expanding what the architecture, engineering, and construction industry can do when assessing a site, which is an arduous task that often doesn’t capture the big picture or the small details. Photos and drawings offer a small glimpse of an overall site, but it can be challenging to visualize and understand how elements relate to one another. This panel of experts will discuss strategies for maximizing drone capabilities and technologies to enhance architectural lighting and security design and to visually communicate between design teams and clients.

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Interactivity for Accessibility & Community Engagement
FR209  |  4-5pm  |  1 LU

As digital technologies become more integrated into the built environment, architects must consider the entire visitor journey, which begins before an on-site visit and continues long afterwards. In this joint presentation, Wendy Evans Joseph, founder of Studio Joseph, and Katie Savage, creative director at the experience design agency Bluecadet, will share valuable design strategies for creating inclusive communities that bridge physical and virtual spaces. Their insight comes from a decade spent designing award-winning experiences for some of the world’s most prestigious museums, libraries, universities, and organizations.

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Open Studio Night: Group 4—Pier-to-Pier

EV504  |  6-8:30pm  |  $45

It's San Francisco Open Studio Night! Visit a curated collection of three to five AIA San Francisco firms. Each Open Studio collection showcases a diverse range of practice types, firm sizes, and disciplines. Many firms are located in architecturally significant buildings and/or have unique city views. All firms in the collection are within a 20-minute walk of each other. You will learn about the firms' latest work, chat with staff, and enjoy drinks and snacks. Please feel free to visit firms in any order: Autodesk Technology Center San Francisco, EHDD Architecture, Foster + Partners, and Skidmore Owings & Merrill.

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Automating the Plan Review Process With Machine Learning & AI
SA303  |  11:30am-12:30pm  |  1 LU

Machine learning tools are currently being developed to review floor plans and quickly identify items that do not comply with codes and standards. New technology is available to review architectural drawings in PDF formats, integrate with new online permit submittal processes, and support the plan review process. These approaches can be used by developers when contemplating concept ideas for new building projects as well as by architects developing abstract or schematic outlines for building projects. The ability to adapt machine learning and AI theory to the plan review process is an exciting concept that is now morphing into reality.

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AR San Francisco: Past, Present, & Future
ET121d  |  12-1pm  |  1 LU  |  $45

Experience San Francisco of the past, the present, and the future on this lively walking tour of the area adjacent to the Architecture Expo at A'23. The future of San Francisco will be experienced as an Augmented Reality (AR) model of a landmark yet-to-be built project by a celebrated architecture firm. The AR model will come to life on your iPhone or iPad, or via the new ML2 AR glasses provided by Magic Leap. Bring along your iPhone or iPad if you are able—they are not required—and prepare to be enthralled by the AR experience as you trace the evolution of the cityscape over time and into the future. The tour is inspired by the innovative indoor-outdoor map of Rome created in 1748 by the architect and surveyor, Giambattista Nolli.

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