Page T2.1 . 05 June 2002                     
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    Paths to Collaboration

    by Lamar Henderson, AIA

    Digital tools promise to improve collaboration processes in the design-and-construction industry. Yet more than tools are needed for collaboration to succeed. The architecture profession also needs to educate itself about the business, legal, technical, and behavioral aspects of sharing information electronically.

    To further that education, the American Institute of Architects sponsored a conference in April, 2002 titled "Six Degrees of Collaboration: Information Technologies that Facilitate Collaboration in Architectural Practice." Organized by the Technology in Architectural Practice Professional Interest Area (TAP PIA) of the AIA, the conference provided valuable insights into evolving collaboration processes.

    The opening plenary session, moderated by James Brogan, AIA, former chair of the TAP PIA advisory group, led a discussion on defining collaboration and discussing cultural hurdles to its implementation.

    One problem, panelists noted, is the socialization process of the individuals involved in building. Design professionals, developers, contractors, and construction managers tend to focus on their respective areas of knowledge, and they tend to protect these interests in the building process. Such a defensive posture, along with differing worldviews of the same project, creates conflicts and impedes collaboration.   >>>



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    A 4D "desktop dashboard" displays comprehensive project data.
    Image: Kathleen Liston, Stanford/ Walt Disney Imagineering

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    A series of 3D Catia models built for building systems within the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
    Image: John Haymaker, Stanford/ Walt Disney Imagineering


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