Tag Archives: Design

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Three time winner – AIA Award for Excellence in Education

The American Institute of Architect’s CES Award for Excellence in Education has been a coveted industry award for many years. It’s my honor to have led the teams who won the award three times, first at CertainTeed Corporation in 1998 and 2000, and then at Whirlpool Corporation in 2009.  Here are a few links to the award, the online curriculum we developed at Whirlpool and a brief history.

2009 AIA Award for Excellence in Education press release

Whirlpool Continuing Education Courses at AECDaily.com

I was Director of Building Solutions Marketing at CertainTeed Corporation when I first read about the pending AIA Continuing Education requirements for architects. To their credit, the AIA built their CES (Continuing Education System) under the leadership of Thom Lowther, Ed.S.  Thom’s diligence resulted in a majority of U.S. states adopting AIA’s new CES as the standard for their State Architectural Boards of Examiners. This was a sea-change for the architectural profession and an opportunity for building product manufacturers (BPM’s) who make products recommended and specified by architects. Building product knowledge is a necessity for architects and why BPM’s will always offer lunch-and-learn presentations in firms. Progressive BPM’s quickly upgraded their programs and re-trained their reps to qualify for AIA’s new high standard.

I quickly ramped up on AIA CES with the help of  Thom and Kay Kane at AIA headquarters.  At CertainTeed, we developed one-hour Learning Units (LU’s) to qualify for AIA’s requirements. It was still ‘pre-Internet history’ in architecture firms so we initially printed and mailed correspondence courses with an answer sheet. After taking a course, architects mailed or faxed back their answer sheets to CertainTeed for grading and reporting to AIA. It sounds antique but that was only fifteen years ago.

AIA developed a national award program, The AIA CES Award for Excellence in Education, to spur the growth of CES Providers and quality of education programs. Several award categories were established including ‘external providers’ for companies like CertainTeed. The award criteria is based on the Malcolm Baldrige Awards so it’s a lot of work over multiple years to even qualify.  I decided to enter our CertainTeed paper curricula of only six courses in 1998 and surprisingly, we won! It was a tremendous honor and a ceremony was held in Washington DC for all the winners. 

Over the years, AIA CES Award of Excellence became the ‘gold standard’ for companies developing continuing education courses for architects and designers in the U.S. and worldwide. Many professional associations have emulated the AIA’s program for their own members, a tremendous legacy for the AIA.

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Twitter Chat + e-Learning Mashup

One of my presentations on SlideShare.com recently went viral. You can read about it in my post, ‘iPad+Apps for Designers…an Online Sensation!’ The simple idea was to create a document for #kbtribechat, a popular Twitter Chat attended by kitchen & bath designers, builders, and remodelers; so they wouldn’t have to take notes when I was guest host. I like to count things, and thankfully I tracked tweets, retweets, views and impressions from the day it was posted. The results are fascinating so I built the following presentation as a behind-the-scenes peek of how to conduct and measure a social media campaign. I hope you pick up some tips for your next campaign!


I want to thank the people (that I’m aware of) for helping the iPad+Apps topic go viral. Steve Jobs of course…but I didn’t know him personally.  Using their Twitter handles, my thanks go out to @SketchThis for collaborating on the original iPad+Apps research, and @kbtribechat, @FormicaGroup and @SlideShare for sharing it on their Twitter feeds, blogs and websites. That’s what’s so great about social media. When you report on a topic that others care about, they jump in and share with their friends and followers. It accelerates e-Learning for all of us!

Take a look at my daily e-Newspaper at paper.li called SocialMediaSoup. It includes articles by social media leaders from all over the world.

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And no, we don’t know where it will lead.
We just know there’s something much bigger than any of us here.

~ Steve Jobs


iPad+Apps for Designers…an Online Sensation!

iPad+Apps for Designers

Here’s a fun and informative study that was done when I worked at Masco Cabinetry. Eric Schimelpfenig AKBD, a KraftMaid Cabinetry customer, and I spent a few months trying out free and affordable iPad apps from the iTunes App Store. The goal was to develop a portfolio of apps we could recommend and share with designers at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS). The task became overwhelming as new iPad apps are launched every day! We decided to focus on apps specific to the designer/client relationship, from the first meeting through the design, presentation, and approval process. Practical, productive, and easy-to-use are the filters we used in evaluating each app for our portfolio of iPad apps for designers.

The LIVE presentation is popular at designer and architect events so I posted it on SlideShare where everyone could benefit through e-Learning. In its ‘second life’ online, iPad+Apps for Designers has gone ‘niche viral’, averaging 200 to 300 views per day! I presented it LIVE online at #kbtribechat, a weekly Twitter chat that Formica Group attends. They later featured it in their Formica Blog. SlideShare liked that example of embedment in a corporate blog, and featured iPad+Apps for Designers on their SlideShare blog. All that promotion adds up! The presentation has been viewed over 100,000 times. Enjoy e-Learning as so many others are doing!



Sneak peek at DesignfulMind e-Newspaper

Take a look at my daily e-Newspaper at paper.li by the same name. It includes articles on design you’ll enjoy reading:

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Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks.
But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works.
I want to put a ding in the universe
~ Steve Jobs


An ‘Infographic’ Resume?! Vizualize.me + LinkedIn

I recently found Vizualize.me and had to try it. I love the way it turns dry-looking copy into an artful ‘infographic’ of your resume via LinkedIn. It’s a time saver since you don’t retype or cut-and-paste in your professional information. The site accurately pulls content from your LinkedIn account and you select a design template. You can edit information or make color and type adjustments to further customize your look.

Vizualize.me also has a ‘My Stats’ area not seen on LinkedIn. You can pull in your LinkedIn ‘connections’ or add other important numbers. I chose to showcase my Twitter followers and KLOUT social media score. Here is my infographic resume in a new presentation on SlideShare if you’d like to take a look:

Vizualize.me doesn’t have an iPad app at this time but it worked beautifully on my iPad using the Safari browser. Some websites struggle with the iPad touch-screen but I found vizualize.me easy to use for any editing. Here’s a picture from my iPad of the theme selection box showing different template options.

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This is worth repeating. It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology is not enough.
It’s tech married with the liberal arts and the humanities. Nowhere is that more true than in the post-PC products. Our competitors are looking at this like it’s the next PC market. That is not the right approach to this. These are post-PC devices that need to be easier to use than a PC. More intuitive
~  Steve Jobs