The cat’s out of the bag that we’re gathering 500 of our closest friends from the architecture, landscape, and entertainment industries in Chicago for the 2016 Vectorworks Design Summit. Our April 25-27 annual conference boasts inspirational keynotes, Continuing Education thought-leadership sessions, and a sneak peek into the future of our software line. There is also one-on-one tech support, product training, as well as many networking opportunities. And while there’s been an aura of mystery surrounding one of the most exciting details of the conference, we’re ready to give you the scoop!
Meet the Design Keynote
First and foremost, our awe-inspiring, passionate design keynote speaker is Eva Franch i Gilabert. A New York-based architect, curator, educator, and lecturer on experimental forms of art and architectural practice, Franch will deliver her address on the morning of the last day of the conference, April 27. Titled “Alternatives,” her talk will focus on the importance of experimental ideas and practices in design, as well as the possibilities and insights garnered through an appreciation for taking risks.
Her thirst for architecture, adventure, and art drove her to attain two masters in architecture degrees from Escola Técnica Superior d'Arquitectura (ETSA) Barcelona and Princeton University. She founded her own practice, the Office of Architectural Affairs (OOAA), in 2004. Since 2010, Franch has been the chief curator and executive director of Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York, which is a nonprofit organization committed to the advancement of critical and innovative ideas in architecture, art, and design. In 2014, Franch was selected with the project OfficeUS by the U.S. State Department to represent the United States Pavilion at the XIV Venice Architecture Biennale.
She has taught at Columbia University GSAPP, the IUAV University of Venice, SUNY Buffalo, and Rice University School of Architecture. We’re incredibly excited to have an independent voice for architectural thought and practice like Franch who is just as committed to furthering the growth of the design community as we are.
“I’m excited to inspire — and be inspired by — other creatives, designers and creators at the Vectorworks Design Summit,” said Franch. “I hope to contribute something meaningful to the exchange of creative ideas while sharing the chances I’ve capitalized upon to experiment, take risks and raise doubt, as well as go beyond disciplinary labels and boundaries.”
If you’re interested in learning more about this visionary, read about her on Storefront for Art and Architecture's website.
Left Brain, Meet Right Brain: Technical Training and Inspirational Architecture Tours
The Design Summit kicks off on April 25 with optional, pre-conference training covering the full suite of Vectorworks products, including ESP Vision, as well as features in the 2016 product line like Project Sharing, Energos, and Marionette. Registration for these sessions is now open, so attendees should secure their preferred classes now.
In addition, Vectorworks partnered with the Chicago Architecture Foundation to enable attendees to choose from one of three complimentary local architecture tours following the conclusion of the final conference sessions on April 27. Registered attendees can secure their tour here. Don’t forget to bring your sketchpad on your tour as inspiration could strike at any minute thanks to iconic architects like Mies van der Rohe, whose work is all over the Windy City.
Work Hard, Play Hard
If all of these educational opportunities had you fooled into thinking that the Design Summit is all work and no play, then think again. Throughout the conference, there are plenty of after-hours events where attendees can relax and get to know each other.
The fun kicks off April 25 with a welcome dinner at SPiN from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. CT. Better known as a ping-pong social club, SPiN boasts 20 table tennis tables, as well as a full bar and restaurant to combine sport, design, and entertainment.
The good times continue on April 26, when we'll host the Expo Happy Hour from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. CT, featuring headline sponsor Bluebeam® Software, Inc., along with other sponsors Asite Solutions Ltd., 3Dconnexion, Inc., and Canon U.S.A., Inc. In addition, ConnectCAD Limited, HP, Maxon Computer GmbH, Modelo, Inc., Pulp Art Surfaces, SCIA, Inc., and Solibri LLC will be on hand to talk through solutions for attendees’ design needs.
At the end of the happy hour, winners of the Marionette Science Fair, a global, virtual graphical scripting contest, will also be announced. Competition entries will be accepted until April 11, at 11:59 p.m. CT, and you don’t have to be a Summit attendee to enter and win, so there’s still time to compete to win an Apple Watch and bragging rights!
Following the happy hour, the celebrations continue at the Art Institute of Chicago, where we'll host the Customer Appreciation Party, beginning at 7:00 p.m. CT. With its collection of diverse artistic pieces, the Art Institute provides the perfect backdrop to celebrate another fantastic Design Summit.
The event includes dinner and an open bar, live music from the local Chicago-based band Hey Jimmy, as well access to the Impressionism exhibit and the Architecture and Design Galleries. Additionally, a Chicago-based firm, AV Chicago, will illuminate the capabilities of Vectorworks software by handling the party’s lighting design.
Has your FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) kicked in yet? If so, there’s still time to register and get in on the workflow-enhancing fun! The final day to register for the Design Summit is April 15, so register now before it’s too late.