Collective Brainstorming: design and technology

 In Design

AIA Confernce Team Photoby Dominique Gettliffe

Gettliffe Architecture participated in three design focused conferences this fall, in Nicaragua and Colorado. A recurring theme that captured our interest was the role of technology in design. Here are some insights from the events.

Mundaneum “Arquitectura Necesaria”

Mundaneum is a conference held every other year that reveals and celebrates Latin American design talents. The conference took place in Managua, Nicaragua this year, and drew architects and designers from across Central and South America. The conference is geared to reveal authentic and high quality regional architectural work. Computer technology was as present in the production of architectural work, but the choices of construction materials and open architecture were the most unique characteristics.


Mundaneum 2015 | Managua, Nicaragua

Open Architecture

Mundaneum Presentation | Patrick Dollins, Architect, Panama


Mundaneum Presentation | James Wines, SITE, USA

Month of Modern

Month of Modern is also a regional effort to encourage and stimulate modern design in Colorado. The month long event brings a jolt of energy to the Colorado design community. Month of Modern brings “modern” thinking people to discuss, present and discover what Colorado Modern is about, and celebrate with everyone in the design community. A panel discussion that was part of this event asked the following question: “What role does technology play in the future of design? In a culture of planned obsolescence, what is our responsibility to improve upon ideas rather than always looking at the newest shiny object?”


Month of Modern | Boulder, Colorado

Month of Modern | Boulder, Colorado

Month of Modern | Boulder, Colorado

AIA Practice + Design Conference

This annual professional conference takes place in Keystone in the fall and brings in contact the mountain region architects with architectural work from across the country. Many architects presented their firms’ design process and the most captivating work was the construction of full size models where the computer was the assisting tool.

AIA Conference

AIA Practice + Design Conference 2015 | Keystone, Colorado

 The common thread that linked these three very different conferences is the role of digital technology in the design process. The use of computers, 3-D modeling software and CAD is ubiquitous in the design, architecture and construction industries throughout the world.  The question we all face is “what is the proper role of computers in our practices and what is the role and value of hand on production (i.e. hand sketching, scale modeling, mock-ups, construction site involvement, etc.)?” The three conferences sparked many conversations, which have carried over into an open debate at our studio. Join the discussion by posting your thoughts on design and technology in the comments section below.

Gettliffe Architecture is a Boulder, Colorado architecture firm offering green design services from straw-bale homes to eco lodges around the globe. We believe that beautiful modern architectural design begins with careful consideration of earth, culture and community. Working with your ideas and vision, our team of green architects brings inspiring spaces to life that are kind to the planet and a pleasure to be in.


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