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Inside the AV Charrette

Collaborating with architects, end-users, and others makes AV projects great.

I admit it. When I started editing Pro AV I had to ask what exactly a charrette was. We'd recently started a periodic feature called AV Charrette to discuss topics concerning AV and architecture and at first I felt a little clueless. It turns out a charrette, as you probably know, is a collaborative design session of all the stakeholders on a project.

Whether or not you've ever held such a session and called it a charrette, AV professionals are clearly charretteing more in an effort to build systems that blend perfectly with their surroundings.

I once asked an installer about working with architects. He giggled at first and said he wished the process were smoother, but went on to admit that recently more architects have come to him for advice prior to projects where AV systems and acoustical treatments might be involved. Another time I found myself talking to an architect at the opening of a major AV installation and when he handed me his business card I noticed he was InfoComm CTS certified.

The chasm between knowing what to do (work closely with architects, builders, designers, etc.) and actually doing it can sometimes be difficult to cross. The bridge is often cluttered with a hodgepodge of neglected initiatives, promising enablers, and even shining examples of charrette success.

As Thom Mullins describes in his Consultant's Connection column (page 106), it's been an uphill battle getting architects to use MasterFormat 2004, which in practice would go a long way toward clearly delineating the role of AV in construction projects. Meanwhile Pro AV contributor Linda Seid Frembes explores the vast potential of auralization technology in helping sound engineers and building designers create acoustically optimal spaces (page 66). The shining examples? Those are the 11 Pro AV Spotlight Awards winners chronicled this month (page 38). When we launched the program, we challenged AV integrators to demonstrate how their projects were the result of team collaboration. As you'll see, the evidence of charrettes in action--whatever that means--are everywhere.

CORRECTION

In the June 2008 issue, we incorrectly stated the per-client pricing for Clear-Com Concert (page 77). The correct price is $1,500.

Brad Grimes, Editor

e-mail: bgrimes@hanleywood.com



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