Virtual Collaboration

How do you work on a team when it is impossible to physically work alongside your teammates?

In all studios, but especially Community Build, we rely so heavily on collaboration, communication, and coordination – three things that seemed impossible when first faced with social distancing. In any previous time period, continuing our studio-based education would have been impossible but with programs like Zoom, GoogleDrive, Pinterest, etc. we have not only made this situation work. We have used it to our advantage. Somehow, our team has managed to come together and produce a huge amount of thoughtful and groundbreaking work. As students in the Community Build program, we have always had the desire to create something meaningful that has a positive impact. While having to press pause on our projects on the Greenway was a huge disappointment, it has been exciting to work on something that could end up saving lives.

In our race against the clock, against the spread of the virus, we have been having virtual studio sessions nearly non-stop. Yesterday, we had our largest virtual meeting to date with a huge range of people on the call from graphic designers to research personnel to emergency response experts. Our goal is to have the first version of the document in process to be finished and out for distribution by Monday while the second version will be finished in about two weeks at the end of the semester. Hopefully the first of the documents will help areas that don’t have testing facilities set up yet get set up to operate as safely as possible. Everything needed to set up and operate a temporary testing facility will be in this document. The second document is where things get interesting and more exciting. On the call yesterday our team introduced the idea of a mobile testing site, a system where the entire set-up could be easily moved to provide testing for those who may otherwise not be able to get to a testing site. In many cases, such as with a retirement facility, the people unable to drive to a testing site are also the most at risk of contracting the virus. We are meeting with some virus experts (not their scientific title but one that makes sense to me) early next week to make sure that we really are designing the best systems possible and keeping people 100% safe at these possible facilities.


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