Virtual to Reality: 2012 AIA National Convention

Friday, June 1st, 2012

This year’s convention can be easily summed up in three words for me… Virtual becomes Reality. I have become fairly active in the online AEC community over the past couple of years. This convention was an opportunity to create some personal connections established online into actual connections made in person. Being in the online community allows you to become quite familiar with the people with whom you interact. Once you actually meet in person, you are like old friends. It’s just that you have actually never met them. At this year’s convention I was fortunate to meet so many members of my online community in person.  It was just a fabulous opportunity. Maybe it was being in DC, or the fantastic weather, or the build up to the actual event, but it all came together to create a rich, fulfilling experience of architecture and camaraderie. As I type this on the plane trip home, I look forward to the next opportunity to meet up with all of these new friends. It will definitely happen within our online communities as usual, but with the added layer that only personal, face to face interaction can accomplish. I also know that it may be a full year (or more even) until I am able to again meet them all in person and share a conversation over drinks. But the connection has been enhanced due to this year’s convention.

View of Capitol: AIA 2012 Natnl Conv

View of Capitol: AIA 2012 Natnl Conv

 

I was fortunate enough to have been asked to participate as the main interviewee for the AIA National tweet up. It was an honor to even be considered as one qualified and worth listening to. (Summary Post) A Tweet Up is a gathering of Twitter users to be able to make the real connection of face to face interaction. The event was Friday afternoon and there we about 75+ people in attendance during the hour long networking event. It was another great opportunity to convert virtual connections into reality. I was honored to be a part of it. Thank you, Sybil Barnes of AIA National Staff for believing I was worth listening to and possessed useful information to share. I look forward to interacting with the new connections created during this hour. It was also wonderful to put so many “real faces” with digital “handles” and personas.

So the theme of the convention was design connects. I must say the I was connected in a different way through design during this convention; I was connected to others by our common appreciation for design and architecture. So this convention was truly about connection for me, just not in the exact way in which it was intended by the theme or my previous blog posts on the theme. (here) It was so fantastic to become more connected to the people I interact with almost daily in the virtual world. I will always remember this convention as the convention of connecting.

Thanks to everyone for such a great experience.

 

 

Foster Atrium: Natnl Portrait Gallery

Foster Atrium: National Portrait Gallery

 

 

The Newseum: DC

The Newseum: DC

 

DCA: Reagan Airport

DCA: Reagan Airport

 

 

AIA 2102: DC Convention Center

AIA 2102: DC Convention Center

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reserved: American Institute of Awesome!

Reserved: American Institute of Awesome!