Technology: Are you engaged or just aware?

In a recent conversation with a potential client, this question was presented to me. I admit, it wasn’t a question that I expected to be asked in this day and age of technology. Every day we are surrounded by technology – impacting how we live, work and play. From the time we wake up, to the time we lay our heads down at night, technology is an integral part of our daily lives.

Since that day, the question has continued to make me stop and think about how technology is being utilized in our firm. Are we engaged, or just aware? Are we making sure our project team is engaged? Are our clients engaged?

As an architect in the digital age, the tools that we use are evolving rapidly and the implementation of emerging technology continues to inform the design process for each project. The days of two-dimensional drafting have been supplanted by three-dimensional models that contain many more layers of information than ever before. This transformation has generated many opportunities for our clients and our staff to learn more about the building we are collaborating to create.

Clients have the ability to see the spaces they are helping to create in “real-time” as project architects move inside the three-dimensional model. This virtual environment allows the client/users to see what the project will look like from multiple viewing angles and potentially provide them a sense of what the space will feel like. A good example of this would be for a nursing staff member to “see” a patient room environment to understand the operational space they would have at the bedside to assist with patient care.

During the design process, the technologies that we use do not stop at the drafting software. Project collaboration, information exchange, and online documentation software all play an integral part in the success of a project. On several recent projects, client meetings have occurred using collaboration tools such as WebEx or GoToMeeting. These tools allow for meetings to occur without the need for travel, and allow participants to maintain an understanding of the project.

Technology has become a vital part of the design process, and will continue to evolve. Architects that can utilize these types of tools effectively will greatly contribute to the success of their client’s vision. CMBA has committed to using emerging technologies to benefit the success of projects, while maintaining strong personal relationships with our clients.