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A Meeting of the Creative Minds

Could this finally be the year when AV professionals and architects get on the same page in the interest of finely tuned, integrated buildings? We think so. Introducing a new architecture column,

When i joined Pro AV more than three years ago, a common refrain from consultants and integrators was that architects waited too long to bring them into projects. As a result, either building plans needed to change or AV designs had to adapt. I say this knowing that readers of Pro AV's sister publication architect (and now all members of the American Institute of Architects, for which architect is the official publication) are among those that AV pros complained about.

Brad Grimes

Brad Grimes

But dynamics are changing. In 2007, InfoComm began spending $1.5 million over three years to educate architects about AV and the role of certified AV pros. In a survey, InfoComm found that awareness among architects about Certified Technology Specialist credentials leapt to 80 percent in 2009, from 53 percent in 2007. More than half said they specifically request CTS credentials in bid documents.

When I talk to AV integrators, the majority say that reaching out to architects, often in the form of lunch-and-learns, has been key to earning new business. Michael Fay, a Pro AV adviser and general manager of AV at Sound Image in California, says that because his group has been certified on Autodesk's building information modeling platform Revit for years, the company has been able to get on the short list of AV firms competing for construction projects. And I don't have a conversation today with an AV manufacturer that doesn't include an appeal to architects to undertand their products and how they fit into the built environment.

Architects get it. More of them now have their own AV design experts (they even enter the annual Pro AV Spotlight Awards at www.proavawards.com). And they'll get more of it this May at the AIA Convention in New Orleans when Hanley Wood, the company that owns this magazine and runs the AIA show, will include a Pro AV pavilion.

To address this opportunity at the intersection of AV and architecture, we introduce columnist Raymond Kent, CTS. Recently of acclaimed architecture firm Westlake Reed Leskowsky, Ray is equally versed in issues of building design and AV. His job? Tackle the topics that bridge our two camps. What does a holodeck have to do with that?

 


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