2016 Summer MiAPPA Conference

Martin Ruiter, from our Lansing office, and Betsy Wagner, from our Ann Arbor office, both share their takeaways from the Summer 2016 MiAPPA Conference.


MiAPPA Overview By Martin Ruiter

Once again the Summer MiAPPA conference this year was a great experience, thank you to Eastern Michigan University and its staff for hosting such an awesome event at Boyne Highlands and continuing to maintain the high standards that we’ve all become accustomed to; our MiAPPA organization is truly amazing! 

I found the Breakout Session “Modern Impacts of Societal Change in Design, Construction, Maintenance & Operation of College Facilities” to be very engaging and informative, especially the impact of societal change on our college and university partners and their mission to provide clean, safe and effective environments that enhance the learning experience for all. 

The University of Colorado’s joint use toilet room design, private toilet rooms with a common hand washing station, was an interesting solution to the traditional, separate,  Men’s, Women’s, unisex approach to providing equal, yet accessible, restroom facilities for all users.

Finally, for those of you who have not had the opportunity to experience dinner theater with the Young Americans, it is worth the trip to Boyne just for the non-stop 120 minute show that rivals some of the best production numbers that my wife and I have ever seen. They are a non-profit performance and educational organization that produces over 400 shows in more than thirty countries and have a 39 year affiliation with Boyne Highlands which makes them the second longest running dinner theater in America. 



Technology Integration in Learning By Betsy Wagner

The Keynote Speaker, Dr. Tracy Wilen, gave an interesting discussion on how technology is changing learning and infiltrating everything we do. She stated that many people are visual learners, with Millennials in particular, having been raised on tablets and learning through videos. This is a big trend with the new generation of students. 

Dr. Wilen also spoke about Adaptive Learning, especially Augmented Reality which included the video below that I thought was quite interesting. The video demonstrates virtual glasses that are worn while  fixing a car which give step by step instructions on how to fix an engine.

current research project at BMW

I think the biggest takeaway for me was the need to embrace technology in our building designs and consider how we can integrate it thoughtfully in our projects.

 For more on Dr. Wilen, please visit her blog: http://traceywilen.tumblr.com/