Page T2.1 . 11 July 2001                     
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    A/E/C SYSTEMS 2001

    by B.J. Novitski

    The annual barometer for digital technology in architecture, engineering, and construction the A/E/C SYSTEMS Show came to Chicago in June, and its assessment of the state of the industry was resoundingly ambiguous.

    With 220 exhibitors and 10,000 attendees, the four-day show was smaller than in recent years. This can be attributed in part to the downturn in the economy, whether real or anticipated. Another factor is surely the very success of digital technologies in distributing information electronically without the expense of moving paper and people to a geographic center.

    For those who did attend, however, the opportunities to learn and connect with like-minded professionals were still strong and diverse. The educational portion of the program successfully emphasized quality over quantity, and last year's overload of project extranet companies was lessened by the intervening industry shake-out and dot-com bankruptcies.

    New products appeared to the delight of attendees, and partnerships between software vendors demonstrated progress on the difficult but important road toward true interoperability.

    The Word from the Top

    Setting the tone for industry cooperation were keynote addresses from executives of two leading CAD companies whose goals sounded remarkably similiar. Philip Bernstein, FAIA, of Autodesk, Inc. and Greg Bentley of Bentley Systems Incorporated described their vision for future directions for their company's products.



    ArchWeek Photo

    The Chicago skyline during the week of A/E/C SYSTEMS 2001, as seen from the vicinity of McCormick Place, anchored on the west by the soaring Sears Tower.
    Photo: Kevin Matthews

    ArchWeek Photo

    On display at the SYSTEMS Show was new landscape design software VectorWorks 9 Landmark.
    Image: Nemetschek North America


    Click on thumbnail images
    to view full-size pictures.

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