Keynote Address

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8:00 – 9:00 a.m.
1 LU Hour

Getting Back on Your Horse: The Evolving Professional Practice

Presented by: Peter Kuttner, FAIA, Cambridge Seven Associates
Sponsored by: Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA, Inc.

Peter Kuttner 2012Join Peter Kuttner, FAIA, for this year’s Keynote Address as he kicks off Build Pittsburgh 2015 by setting the stage for a series of courses on new design strategies, purpose-driven projects, new forms of integration, project delivery, and leadership, with an overview on how firms are recovering from a record recession and prospering. The address will begin with a discussion on the impact of economic cycles and business trends on the professional service industry in general, and how this recent recession has had a different impact on the building industry than those in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, and in the tech bubble. Looking at how architectural practices reacted to the recession through pay cuts, cut-backs, mergers, acquisitions, and the search for increased efficiencies, Peter will then illustrate how those practices, and the influence of the slow recovery process, changed firms for the longer term.

From that basis in recent history, the many strategies firms have developed to recover from the downturn in the profession will be discussed. Using practice examples from Cambridge Seven Associates and other firms, strategies such as multiple market sectors, expanded geographic territories, global projects, new arenas for design services, improved production, and reduced overhead, will be explored to help firms become better prepared to weather future similar economic turmoil. Lastly, Peter will address possible changes to the professional practices that will make firms more resilient, energizing firms to become nimble enough to respond to future obstacles and opportunities.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the impact of economic cycles and business trends on the professional service industry, and how this recent great recession had a unique impact on the building industry
  • Learn how architectural practices reacted to the to the recession through cut-backs, mergers, acquisitions, and increased efficiencies, and the influence of the slow recovery process
  • Consider multiple strategies firms have created to recover from the downturn and become better prepared to weather future similar economic turmoil
  • Speculate on ongoing and coming changes to professional practice to make firms more resilient and nimble enough to respond to future obstacles and opportunities.

 

Peter Kuttner, FAIA is President of Cambridge Seven Associates (C7A), a Boston-based firm of architects, planners, urban designers, exhibit designers, and graphic artists. Cambridge Seven, which received the 1993 AIA Architecture Firm Award, is known for its work with museums, visitors’ centers, hotels, academic buildings, transportation systems, aquariums, and mixed-use developments. Peter is known, in particular, for his thoughtful design of spaces for informal and formal learning in aquariums, museums, and college facilities, with a particular focus on exhibits and interactive and participatory experiences in the sciences.

Recently, he completed the award-winning “Blacktip Reef” and ray tray renovation for the National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD; the Giant Ocean Tank renovation at the New England Aquarium in Boston, MA; KidZooU at the Philadelphia Zoo; the architecture and exhibits for the Museum of Discovery and Science EcoDiscovery Center addition in Fort Lauderdale, FL; renovations and the new “World Alive” exhibit at Discovery Place in Charlotte, NC; renovations and Long Island Sound exhibits for The Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, CT; and the award-winning LEED Gold expansion and renovation of the Boston Children’s Museum. Peter also provided master planning for the Museum of Science in Boston, the New England Aquarium, the South Carolina Aquarium, and the Louisiana