Updated: Jan 20, 2022
by Greg Force, PCI Foundation Chairman
Why reinvent the wheel when you can learn from your partner?
The PCI Foundation is kicking off 2022 by focusing on one of the things we do best. Collaboration. There would be no PCI Foundation without it, and the programs we hold would be small in comparison to what they are without the personal involvement of our industry – both PCI members and our customers – taking part in them.
I want to share a an example of how programs have really excelled at collaboration this year. In my own region, the professors at Clemson University and Kennesaw State University have very different precast programs, different students, and even different industry mentors. And yet, they saw value in working together this year for a new set of workshops.
During the fall semester, Clemson students drove to Kennesaw State to begin a new collaboration between the schools. The students brought their presentation boards and physical models of a project where they analyzed Tadao Ando’s work who's renowned for cast-in-place concrete. The Clemson students showed how you would go about designing those buildings if they were precast as a case study.
They introduced that type of methodology to the Kennesaw State students, and then my student went around in groups. There were four or five of them at the same time, as well as two faculty and Ray Clark, who's our Georgia Carolina's director, participated and went around and gave input to all the students. Then they left the exhibit up for two weeks.
The Kennesaw students then traveled to Clemson University for a Formliner workshop presented by Marshall Walters of Architectural Polymers Inc. First, Walters gave an online talk to both Clemson's students and KSU students before the workshop.
All of this collaboration began when the professors met while traveling to the PCI Convention in New Orleans and was cemented at the Professors Seminar in Sacramento. The PCI Foundation has seen the value in having professors meet face to face to exchange ideas and gather input from other studios. This year we added a travel grant that will help them travel between schools to further facilitate that collaboration.
We look forward to the fruits of future collaboration.