In This Together

Now that we’re nearing the end of our construction document phase and moving into construction, I’ve been considering the unique lessons that design/build can teach you that the conventional studio system cannot. One such lesson that has become clear to me over these last few days is one of accountability.

Accountability is crucial in any work setting, because it assures the client and your fellow team members than they can depend on you to perform your job well. In a design/build studio format such as this, everyone is on the same team. We are one entity. All five of us must work together, not separately. We are all accountable for the end result, because we share a common goal – to satisfy the needs of our client and produce a well-articulated and effective piece of architecture. Thus, when we face challenges, the five of us must put our heads together, as a team.

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Reminding ourselves that we are accountable to one another is absolutely essential, especially in this phase of the project. There cannot be a disconnect between the construction document team and the budget team, for instance. The cost of every component of the pavilion must be taken into account, and for that to happen, those of us working on structural details have a responsibility to share updates on the construction front with those of us working on the budget… and vice versa. Design/build studios, as such fast-paced projects, must remain highly adaptive and flexible. Last-minute modifications are frequently made, and in light of this, it is necessary that the five of us stay on the same page, at all times.

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Time is of the essence in a design/build studio, so reminding ourselves of our accountability to each other is important from a timing perspective as well. Instead of going backwards, all five of us must communicate with one another so that we are always moving towards completion, rather than wasting time. We are aiming for a successful project, with timely execution. Each individual studio member needs to always be up-to-date on the project, to get the pavilion done in time. After all, in design/build, you must face the client’s expectations and requirements and must create a quality project to meet those needs, by the deadline you have set. There is an added incentive to perform your job well and promptly in this kind of studio, since your project entails a real building. In order to accomplish these goals by our deadline, it is thus essential that we all coordinate with each other. We’re all in this together.

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