It was not my first time going to the Architectural Building Expo in Boston, MA. However, this time was different than the last.

Learning about new products and finding interesting applications of old technologies is generally what makes building expos fun. As well as hearing lectures from the experts who try these new ideas and share their lessons learned.

On this trip I was more focused on specific areas that relate more directly to Banwell and our areas of work. One of the most helpful aspects I found at this expo was the photo exhibit. I found many of the pictures of recent and local projects to be impactful in understanding trends in newer features of design. All types of construction and features of design were shown such as: schools, skyscrapers, residential, commercial, landscape and interior design.

There were many photos of traditional architectural views that showed new aspects of design. I found that there were multiple pictures of stairways. Some with glass panels and others with metal mesh. Some made with metal and others wood. The thing that stuck out to me besides the great craftsmanship was what was happening with the space near and around the stair. The utilization of the area was a great place to have breakout spaces. These spaces typically were found to be near the exterior of the building to have great natural light and had movable furniture. Whether it was residential, commercial or even public they all utilized the space very well. A great place to read a book or study.

Even though the picture below shows myself relaxed much of the day was spent talking to exhibitors and learning about their product. Another trend that I noticed which may very well come with the times was the use of technology. It plays a huge part in the whole process of design and in many stops along the way. Schools and students have access to use computers and 3D printers to enhance their capabilities and imagination. Manufacturers use precision machines to create quality product faster. Sales uses tablets and interactive technology to help customers visualize their purchase. Architects and designers use software to make their ideas come to life.

On the whole it was a great day full of appreciation for the industry and refreshing thoughts towards creative design. Putting all of the professionals in the industry in one big room is great reminder that everyone is in this together and it asks the question of how we all can improve end result of our collaborative work.

Andy ABX

Youth CenterNursing Facility Architect