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    TOOLS THIS WEEK

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    COMPUTER-ENABLED PRACTICE FOR DISABLED ARCHITECTS

    When Joseph Del Vecchio graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in the mid-1980s, he was blocked from pursuing a routine architectural internship.

    Even if he'd found a local office permitting entry to his wheelchair, he would have been unable to reach over the large drafting boards that were routinely assigned to apprentices in those days. In addition, seemingly simple tasks, like getting in a car and driving to a meeting, were tiring and time-consuming.

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    BECOMING AN INFORMATION ARCHITECT

    With the ever-increasing quantity of information that architectural project managers must handle, electronic piles of spreadsheets and word-processing documents are only compounding the problems of project management.

    Tools built on easy-to-use database software can provide an effective solution, but in my experience, few firms take advantage of them. Architects should be designing their own information management systems, which have the potential to take over a surprising number of nongraphical tasks in a professional office.

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    More Design Tools

    Autodesk Delivers XML/Data Extension Tool For AutoCAD 2000i Products. — Autodesk Inc. Press Release, 2000.1205. The XML data extension is part of an Autodesk initiative to create a common, open standard for delivering design data to the Web.

    Primavera Launches PrimeContract for the Construction Industry. — PrimeContract Press Release, 2000.1127. Primavera Systems, Inc., leading provider of project management software, announced an ASP service to streamline e-commerce, collaboration, and project control via the Internet.

    b2bScene and eBuild.ca Go Live with Hosted Collaboration Services. — eBuild.ca Press Release, 2000.1127. The two partners have launched online collaboration services to coordinate and streamline the entire design-to-build process for the construction market in Canada.

    New Technology Manufactures Three-Dimensional Models from Mapping Data — Solid Terrain Modeling Inc., 2000.1121. STM's proprietary printing software deciphers digital elevation data to control a cutting machine that produces precise scale models from foam or other materials.

    AIA Announces New Web Site — AIA Press Release, 2000.1114. After November 18, 2000, essential Web site services for members of the American Institute of Architects will be available at: www.aia.org. AIAOnline will be replaced in January 2001 with a new site for the exclusive use of members.

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