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Accessible design in interactive kiosks as perceived by AV Designers

Posted by Leonard Suskin
Leonard Suskin
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on Monday, 14 April 2014
in New York

 

This post is a result of an ongoing conversation we are having at SM&W about what "accessibility" means in AV design and how to make functional digital signage welcoming and usable to all users.  Earlier in the year I discussed giving better experience to a hearing impaired audience using Audio Frequency Inductive Loop Systems. (SM&W has an approved AIA continuing education class available on this topic). The genesis of today's post is a discussion I had with senior consultant Joe Gaffney regarding accessible design in interactive kiosks.

As the cost of interactive flat panel displays drop, we are seeing greater and greater numbers of interactive digital kiosks. As AV designers, we see these digital kiosks in place of more traditional signage for myriad uses including advertising, scheduling and path finding within buildings, and for scheduling in public transit. At SM&W we have been discussing how digital kiosks impact people with physical limitations, and how we can create the most welcoming experience possible for the broadest possible audience.

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Embracing the Opportunities of BYOD in Enterprise AV Design

Posted by Olivia Farquharson
Olivia Farquharson
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on Friday, 14 March 2014
in Chicago

By Bill Nattress of Shen Milsom & Wilke and Sean Brown of Sonic Foundry

You may think you've got your AV plan nailed down for your boardrooms, meeting rooms and training room, but think again. By now you've heard of BYOD (bring you own device).  The idea is that giving employees access to work at their fingertips will make them more productive. If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to rethink your strategies to accommodate the anytime, anywhere access the new consumer-based, technology-enhanced work environment demands.

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Ultra-Green Skyscraper, Pearl River Tower featured in Architectural Record

Posted by Olivia Farquharson
Olivia Farquharson
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on Wednesday, 12 March 2014
in Chicago

 

The Pearl River Tower, in Guangzhou, China, designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill serves as headquarters for the Guangdong Tobacco Company along with other corporate tenants, is a 70-story building that includes office space, conference center, retail and restaurant spaces encompassing approximately 170,000 square meters. SM&W consulted on the base building security, IT infrastructure, audiovisual systems, and acoustical design for this office tower that also has ‘ultra green’ and ‘net-zero’ energy consumption design features.  The interior fit-out design of the anchor tenant’s typical offices and conference center was also undertaken by our acoustical and audiovisual design teams from our Chicago office.

The tower project was featured in Architectural Record for putting “super green before super tall”.

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Compelling Reasons To Design Unified Infrastructure

Posted by Randy Tritz
Randy Tritz
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on Wednesday, 05 March 2014
in Chicago

 

Clients, owners and users are demanding better automation between network systems, storage and infrastructure in a way that is shifting IT design resources from low-value cable plant design that has permeated the technology design world for years. Today, IT design must be looked upon as a high-value innovation that addresses relentless escalation of business and user demands from live streaming video and audio to the desktop to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). Network design has legitimately become the 5th base line discipline in building design. Architecture, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, and now Technology (IT & AV), round out the key team members responsible for any modern building design.

It’s not just voice and data any longer! Today, IT Infrastructure design absolutely must consider a converged design that includes AV, Security, Building Management Systems (BMS), Building Automation Systems (BAS), Fire-Life-Safety (FLS), Point of Sale (POS), Parking, Asset Tracking, Lighting Control, Window Treatment Control, HVAC control, etc., etc.

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Leveraging the Technology of Today for a Better Tomorrow

Posted by Olivia Farquharson
Olivia Farquharson
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on Tuesday, 18 February 2014
in Washington DC

 

The typical checklist we mentally review as we leave our homes—Keys? Check. Wallet? Check. Phone? Check—is expected to get much shorter. As the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) approach becomes increasingly commonplace in businesses, near field communications (NFC) enabled smartphones that facilitate mobile access control are ushering in a new era for managing trusted identities in the enterprise environment. Empowering physical access control and computer logon from a smartphone is a convenient, secure and attractive capability.

The mobile access control pilot at Arizona State University (ASU) was the first to validate the use of digital credentials on NFC smartphones for physical access control on a college campus. The ASU pilot participants gained access to their residence hall and selected rooms by presenting the phones to their door readers, just like they do with their existing iCLASS-based physical campus ID cards. Participants used a variety of popular smartphones connected to all major mobile networks campus wide.

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Acoustics by SM&W get a starring role in The Cecil and Minton jazz supper club redesign

Posted by Adria Dewitt
Adria Dewitt
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on Tuesday, 11 February 2014
in New York

 

Written By: Adria Dewitt of Shen Milsom & Wilke

Minton’s and The Cecil bring old school jazz and exotic comfort food to the increasingly robust Harlem neighborhood.  Originally the site of legendary jazz club Minton’s Playhouse in the 1930’s/1940’s, the space has been redesigned as a contemporary jazz supper club. The adjacent spaces were revived by New York businessman Richard Parsons and restaurateur Alexander Smalls along with Harlem Jazz Enterprises. Shen Milsom & Wilke was asked to provide acoustics for the renovation while preserving the historic feel of the space.

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The Value of Strategic Medical Equipment Planning

Posted by Teriann Pikarski
Teriann Pikarski
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on Tuesday, 04 February 2014
in Chicago

The value of working with an integrated medical equipment planning consultant for HealthCare Projects

Regardless of the size of your facility, equipment costs can range between 25%-30% of the overall project budget.  For a project where the project costs run in the hundreds and thousands to millions of dollars, 30% is a significant amount of dollars allocated to equipment. A medical planning expert can allay any anxiety about the type, size, cost, fit, and capabilities of your equipment purchase.

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School Security - More Important Than Ever Before

Posted by David Goetz
David Goetz
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on Tuesday, 28 January 2014
in New York

 

In the wake of the numerous school shooting incidents the topic of school security is one that has garnered national attention. When parents send their children to school; or husbands, wives, and partners say goodbye to their significant others, they do so with the unconscious assumption that they will see their loved ones later in the day. Sadly, that is not always the case. The unimaginable tragedy that took place in Newtown, CT shook the nation to its core and came as an affirmation that our children need more protection. As we can see on the nightly news regardless of where you hang your hat, active shooter scenarios and school shootings have become more and more prevalent and are clearly on the rise.

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Millennium Park

Posted by Meredith Lovejoy
Meredith Lovejoy
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on Thursday, 23 January 2014
in Chicago

Written By: Carolyn Heinze freelance writer for AVnetwork.com

 

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Spotlight on Denver: Catherine Ruuhela featured in SDA Newsletter

Posted by Meredith Lovejoy
Meredith Lovejoy
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on Friday, 17 January 2014
in Denver

 

The Society for Design Administration (SDA) is a nonprofit organization that advances management and administrative professionals in the A/E/C industry through education, networking and resources.  The SDA has been an affiliate of The American Institute of Architects for over 50 years, and enhances the professional development and personal growth of its members, and consequently the development and growth of their respective companies.    Educational areas the SDA focuses on are Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, Marketing, Office Administration, and Project Management.

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Beyond Compliance – Creating Spaces that are Welcoming to the Hearing Impaired Public

Posted by Meredith Lovejoy
Meredith Lovejoy
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on Wednesday, 15 January 2014
in New York

 

Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is often viewed as a set of tedious requirements one must get past in a big project. Light switches are moved a bit lower, protruding obstacles are recessed into walls, and a few infrared (IR) or radio-frequency (RF) emitters for assistive listening systems are tacked onto the walls of auditoriums and meeting spaces.

However, there is a dramatic difference between creating spaces that accommodate those with disabilities and creating spaces that are welcoming to all visitors. Accommodation – and compliance with accessibility laws - is an important first step in creating an award winning, visually and physically appealing and welcoming space. Shen Milsom & Wilke (SM&W) has developed strategies to achieve these results.

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McFarlane Identifies Top Data Center Trends for 2014

Posted by Meredith Lovejoy
Meredith Lovejoy
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on Tuesday, 07 January 2014
in New York

 

There’s always something new in data center technology, but which are proven, which should be considered, and which have been over-hyped?  A good list of modern trends would certainly include:


Containerized Data Centers:
These certainly have their place, and have proven to be problem solvers for some, but they are probably being over-hyped.  They work fine for a Google or Facebook that deploys large numbers of similar or identical servers.  They can be delivered quickly, they scale incrementally, and can be very energy efficient.  Many aren’t even meant to be serviced; just close the doors and let them run.  If servers fail shut them down.  There are plenty of others to take their place.  “Containers” have their place, but for the data center that needs to remain agile they can be very limiting.

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Science Fiction and a peek at the year ahead

Posted by Meredith Lovejoy
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on Friday, 03 January 2014
in New York

 

Happy New Year Everyone!

For those who don't know me, I'm the Pixel-and-Ink-Stained Wretch, keeper of the very best flash fiction/commercial AV blog anywhere on the internet (also, to the best of my knowledge, the only hybrid fiction/AV blog on the internet. If anyone knows of another one, let me know so we can have a steel cage match or something). With the New Year here, this seems like a fun time to look at some emerging trends and what the future might bring. In keeping with my love for speculative fiction, I'll invoke the three types of science fiction story deserved by the late Dr. Isaac Asimov: answers to the questions "What if..." "If only..." and "if this goes on”. To keep the number of predictions manageable, let's treat this like one of the good doctor's science fiction premises and apply one of each to the future of AV.

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Rob Badenoch Named to ENR New York “Top 20 Under 40”

Posted by Meredith Lovejoy
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on Monday, 09 December 2013
in New York

 

Profoundly influenced by his grandfather, a WWII Navy electronics technician-turned recording engineer, Rob became fascinated by the merging of technology and music as a child.  By age sixteen, Rob was the Chief Engineer of his high school radio and TV station.  Combining self-taught electronics knowledge with input from mentors, he applied his technology skills to practical applications such as repurposing municipal phone lines to replace a failed studio transmitter link in order to keep a local sportscast on the air.

At Lehigh University Rob remained closely involved with production engineering, building concert sound and broadcast systems for artists such as Diana Krall, Gregory Hines, and the New York Philharmonic.  He founded the Lehigh University Sound program, an organization designed to provide leadership experience to students interested in working in audio engineering.  During his junior year, Rob was hired to work in the engineering department at Vistacom, a local Audio/Video firm. He eventually served as Vistacom’s lead AV designer for Lehigh’s Zoellner Arts Center, the University’s first dedicated performing arts facility.  His responsibilities included the design of dedicated recording studios, leading to new curricula for students interested in music and broadcast technology.

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Sudhakar Nagavalli Joins AAMI to Develop Biomedical Technology Certification Program

Posted by Meredith Lovejoy
Meredith Lovejoy
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on Friday, 06 December 2013
in New York

 

Sudhakar Nagavalli joins the AAMI's Ad Hoc Group for the development of United States Certification Program in Biomedical Technology (Healthcare Technology Managers).

AAMI (Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation) has considered members of this group as respected experts in HTM management, having solid experience with the job functions inherent in this role and are very knowledgeable about the current ICC (International Certification Commission) certification programs.

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SHARE's 5th Anniversary Pink & Teal Reception

Posted by Adria Dewitt
Adria Dewitt
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on Monday, 05 August 2013
in New York

Shen Milsom & Wilke was a proud sponsor at SHARE's 5th Anniversary Pink & Teal Reception on June 20th, 2013. SHARE organization works to support, educate and empower those affected by breast or ovarian cancer.

Georgine Ilesco and I were honored to attend this year's event and had a great time mingling with others in the design, construction and real estate industries.

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Chicago celebrates Blackhawks winning the Cup!

Posted by David Copeland
David Copeland
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on Thursday, 01 August 2013
in Chicago

In celebration of the Chicago Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup, SM&W principal Bill Nattress shows his team spirit by wearing a bit of his favorite Hawks garb. Also, the cup route went by the office with much fanfare.

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Denver Earns Trip to Coors Field

Posted by Dana Hougland
Dana Hougland
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on Friday, 28 September 2012
in Denver

Shen Milsom & Wilke's Denver office shut down early on Wednesday, August 29, 2012 to celebrate a 70% increase in profitability over the last six months!  The office was treated to lunch and a ballgame where we watched the Colorado Rockies take on the LA Dodgers at Coors Field.

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We all stopped in front of Home Plate to snap a picture with our new SM&W t-shirts.

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My trip to Paris and London

Posted by Fred Shen
Fred Shen
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on Tuesday, 14 August 2012
in New York

During the spring and summer months when I’m not busy handling proposals, I spend much of my time watching tennis.  I’ve had a love for the game as long as I can remember.  That love also drove me to become a member of the Board of Directors for USTA Serves.  Recently, I had the pleasure of attending the French open in Paris and of course, my trip would not have been complete without visiting a few of my favorite projects overseas.

One of my favorite things about attending the French Open is the beautiful red clay courts at the Roland Garros Stadium.  The French call the surface “terre battue” (beaten earth).  It is a surface that your feet slide on and that quickly stains your shoes and socks. Unlike hard surface courts, the clay court is easier on the players’ feet and joints. Its grittiness also slows the ball down, extending rallies, games, and sets.  Still, the clay and the artistry it elicits is a point of pride in France.

My visit in Paris also provided the perfect opportunity to drop in on one of our favorite hospitality client’s properties, the Mandarin Oriental Paris.  The hotel is situated on one of the most fashionable streets in the world, Rue Saint-Honoré.  Rooms here range anywhere from 1k to over 8k per night.  While I didn’t have the fortune to experience the hotel as a guest, I was able to tour the grounds and the rooms.  The hotel is exquisitely designed sparing no attention to details.  It has a very delicate, almost feminine theme.

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Denver Office Renovation, Part 1

Posted by Jeff Womack
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on Monday, 09 April 2012
in Uncategorised

What’s new in the Denver office you ask? Renovation!

Well, “new” is a relative term. This has been discussed off and on for the year and a half that I’ve been here, and the “old timers” (sorry Kelly!) tell me it’s been planned since before we even had desks in this building.

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