AIA: Day One and All the Fun
If first impressions mean anything, and we all know that they do, then the first few hours of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Conference, which opened in Washington D.C. this morning has impressed me a good bit.
It seems the move to new venues such New Orleans last year and now DC is bearing attendance fruit as the show seems busier than it did in New down in the bayou last year. We are based over in booth 821, right across from Oldcastle Building Envelope’s (booth 825) large, sleek booth which enjoyed steady traffic from minute one on.
And so far, it’s a show full of surprises and interesting turns. For example, one of the first persons with whom I spoke was Kirk Thorvaldsen, the new general manager of Action Bullet Resistant (booth 3515). I asked Kirk what he’d done before joining ABR. “Well,” he said, “I was a pilot with Delta Airlines for many years and recently retired. I haven’t been doing this too long but I love it.” That’s a real interesting transition that seems to be working. Rows 35 and 36 seemed to be security alley, with Insulgard exhibiting not too far away (booth 3611).
PPG Industries was out in force with a celebrity-in-booth (booth 2911) , none other than the star of its recent ad campaign. P-Bear, as he is hopefully affectionately known, was definitely a hit with booth visitors, although he was rumored to have led police on a high speed chase last evening. A lead paw maybe?
Newer products included truly green windows from Zola Windows (booth 3634), a small Swiss company making its mark with very green windows and LTI Smart Glass (booth 4149) which shows some very unique glass-clad polycarbonates, including a fractured lammy and mirror reflective one, the likes of which I’d not seen before.
I also got a chance to catch up with Leo Silverstein of Aldora. Silverstein, who just returned from a mission to Cuba, said he came to scout products that are not in the glass industry but might show potential in other areas. Did I ever think I’d be standing in downtown DC discussing the Cuban economy with Leo Silverstein? See, it is a show full of surprises.
More when I can …..