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AIA National Convention

About Craig D. VanDevere, AIA, NOMA:

Craig D. VanDevere, is an architect, with over 30 years of diverse experience providing architectural, planning, community development, and project management services. President of VanDevere & Associates, Inc., a full service architectural firm located in the Atlanta Metropolitan area, Craig has designed a wide range of project types including corporate, municipal, residential and educational facilities. His practice is centered on the use of Revit, a Building Information Modeling (BIM) and visualization tool.

Learn more about Craig D. VanDevere, Architect.

Do you feel face-to-face business and networking opportunities like the AIA National Convention are important?

Yes, for me it is an opportunity to catch up with both old and new friends; share and discuss thoughts and ideas with my peers; professionally learn some new things; obtain continuing education learning units; check what is new in building materials, systems, and technology; and check out a new city or at least revisit one.

How could attendance at the convention help your career, both in immediate and long-term return?

Obviously, in the short term, it helps you keep up to date with advances in the profession, the ever evolving code/design standards, and helps to keep you in compliance with your state registration boards continuing education criteria. It also offers exposure to other associated career choices that you may not have been aware of.

Long term would be exposure to your peers, networking with colleagues that may lead to either professional partnering, and or job opportunities.

Going back to your comment about how the profession is changing, how would you envision the AIA National Convention evolving?

I think the main thing is for it to evolve and be flexible—especially with technology including BIM technologies and the advent of social networking/media. As an example, a number of us in the building construction professions have met through Twitter. The convention is an opportunity for many of us to meet face to face through an AIA “Tweetup.”

Given the advances in technology, we are already a more global society, so there will be even more opportunities for collaboration on projects, research and development, and design thought communities. So perhaps more open forums can be included to foster discussions on how all of this is going to change how we interact and possibly even do business in the future.

Social media has become pervasive in our global society. As someone who uses social media extensively, what are some of the benefits of digital networking and online communications? What about any drawbacks?

Probably the biggest benefit is the exposure to others that one may not be able to reach otherwise. You are able to make connections with others of similar interest, share ideas, information, thoughts, etc. I guess something similar to conversations around the water cooler in the office, but you have the ability to share and discuss information with friends, clients, fellow practitioners, consultants, and people from across the nation and the world. These kinds of discussions can only provide one with an overall richer experience.

If there is a drawback, it is just finding the time to include the interaction into one’s routine and schedule. As with everything you get back what you put into it.

When the public thinks about what an architect does, leadership and advocacy may not come to mind. What is one way social media can help educate people on the full scope of an architect’s role in society?

Through social media, we as architects can reach many more people than we can through some of our normal channels. It’s all about sharing information about what we actually do as architects, as well as information on topics of interest such as sustainability, cost saving building technologies, Building Information Modeling (BIM), etc.

While architects may be respected individuals in the community, the general public really does not understand the value we really add. The use of social media allows us to get our messages across to a larger audience, collaborate with others, and educate the public as to our value.

AIA 2012 National Convention and Design Exposition

May 17–19

Washington, DC

Walter E. Washington Convention Center

Join your fellow design professionals as Washington, D.C., welcomes the AIA 2012 National Convention. The 2012 theme is Design Connects.

AIA 2012 Convention Web site

Convention Housing

Exhibit at the Convention


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“One neat thing AIA has done is create #aiachat on Twitter… So far, they have all been great opportunities for members and non-members alike to share their thoughts.”

— Craig VanDevere, AIA


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