I recently watched a TED Talk by Marc Kushner on how technology and social media have connected the general public to architects and how it has enabled a closed feedback loop for their business. Marc highlights a pendulum that swings between innovation and symbolism that has been accelerated to a blur through technology. so much so that buildings are becoming an icon before they are even complete and firms have a chance to understand the impact of their design on a community faster than ever before. He postulates that as a result of this acceleration “now we can make nearly instantaneous emotionally charged symbols out of something that is brand new.” Engagement with the community enables faster and better decision making.
It doesn’t matter how we build, it matters what we build. -Marc Kushner
Throughout the presentation I couldn’t help but drawing parallels to what is happening with technology in architecture today as every new building should be built with engagement in mind and continue this trend of closing the feedback loop. Merging traditional forms of engagement such as wireless infrastructure and digital signage with Internet of Things (IOT) and Operational Technologies (OT) and merging the data with the enterprise data warehouse and CRM information is the start of the process, however there is much more to be done. Making the technology relatively invisible, yet present and natural is critical to successful outcomes. When we blend engagement and interactions in with the background through preference driven lighting, signage dynamically presented in your native language, and personalized human interactions such as being greeted by name or recollection of and being handed a glass of of your favorite wine, this is when we move the needle substantially for our customers. Technical architects should strive to create visceral experiences for the users that indelibly write memories for the users of these spaces.
It is critical that these conversations are happening early in the process and that desired outcomes are clearly in focus. Creating a space that conveys the organizational message and meets goals, yet allows users to consume technology on their terms is not an easy task and does require substantial planning, intelligent product selection, commitment to integration, and creative vision. At EVOTEK we are doing this daily for our customers as a trusted advisor, system integrator, and technical architect. Reach out to learn more about our Digital Experience vision.
Special thanks to Marc Kushner for his TED Talk and to Dave Allard for making me aware of this presentation.