Lite Notes by Ellen Rogers
by Ellen Rogers
May 20th, 2016

Philly Style

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) National Convention is underway in Philadelphia. As usual, it’s a non-stop event for us, with so many companies to see. Most of my morning on Thursday, opening day, was spent working on video that would be part of our first newscast of the show. But in the afternoon I had the chance to walk around the expo a bit more closely and talk with some of the companies. Overall, everyone seemed excited and busy—show traffic was steady throughout the day. Here are a few things that I found buzzing.

To start, Saint-Gobain companies have a nice presence at the show; I spent time with two, SageGlass and Vetrotech Saint-Gobain. Both have a lot going on, as focus segments such as fire-rated glass and daylighting are hot topics with architects.

Saint-Gobain was also involved with the convention from another angle; one taking place outside the expo hall—on the street, in fact. The company sponsored a pop-up parklet design competition; each individual space is designed to be pedestrian friendly. The competition gives firms the opportunity to reimagine the city’s public realm.

Saint-Gobain sponsored a parklet design competition to encourage architects to reimagine uses for public space.

Saint-Gobain sponsored a parklet design competition to encourage architects to reimagine uses for public space.

Back on the show floor, I was surprised to see that the Chinese company North Glass was exhibiting. The company has been operating in North America (though not yet manufacturing) for a bit and is working on growing its presence here. Terry Sawyer, executive vice president, told me they want people to know that North Glass is more than a company that makes big glass; he says they do everything from IG to tempering.

The AIA Show always provides an opportunity to learn something new, catch up with the industry and see what trends are driving architectural interest and demands.

The show runs until 2:00 on Saturday. If you’re here, stop by booth 3809 and let us know what you’re seeing while walking the show floor.

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