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Emerging Technology and Architectural Practice




Podcast: 2006/9/6 - 19:41

Presenter: Tony Rinella, Assoc. AIA



Tony Rinella, Assoc. AIA, is Chief Information Officer for Anshen+Allen Architects, a firm specializing in design for healthcare, scientific research, and academic facilities. Mr. Rinella began leading knowledge and information services for the firm 20 years ago.

Mr. Rinella’s experience using data modeling to inform the design process began in 1978; during studies at the University of California, Berkeley, he developed a system to predict the performance of passive solar building systems. His work continued through positions in architecture, property management, and software development companies. Mr. Rinella has spoken on virtual design and construction collaboration in the US, Europe, and “down under,” and is currently active in a variety of organizations focused on beneficial use of information technologies in architectural practice including the AIA Technology in Architectural Practice (TAP) Knowledge Community; the AIA Large Firm Roundtable (LFRT); and the National Institute of Building Standards’ National Building Information Model Standard (NIBS NBIMS) effort.

In many ways, technology is creating new opportunities and challenges for architects and designers. Mr. Tony Rinella, Assoc. AIA and CIO of Ashen+Allen Architects, describes how technology can create a virtual classroom as well as a virtual design center. For him, electronic collaboration technologies and group document authoring create strong communities of practice to promote knowledge-sharing. New programs now help visualize designs concurrently with cost estimates and constructability evaluations, creating a much more efficient and streamlined process.

The challenge for the industry now is how to respond to these new technologies and how to learn to use them effectively. Mr. Rinella suggests that the learning curve for using these technologies is steep, but not insurmountable and looks to the next generation of architects to advance the industry even further.



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