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Moreover, design documents distributed through the intranet bypassed the quality management system of the construction firm. Therefore, the availability of promising technologies does not guarantee immediate adoption and acceptance by project team members, since their implementation commonly requires investment, training, managerial changes and overcoming cultural barriers.
The study identified serious deficiencies in design quality management, such as failures in design briefing and scope management, incompatibilities, interferences, lack of procedures for the issue of design reviews, poor standardization and modularization, and an excessive number of late design changes. According to the interviewees, these problems emerged mainly as a result of: the unusual complexity of the project; deficient selection of local design offices; lack of precepts, tools and techniques for the design quality management; deficiencies in the scope management; and inappropriate choice of the procurement route.
Although the volume of information exceeded overall expectations, it is assumed that careful design planning and the adoption of simple precepts, such as the single statement of information, could have reduced the problems faced by the project team. The spreadsheet developed by the contractors for document management purposes denotes a proactive approach that should have been encouraged.
The design coordination could have agreed upon an information demand schedule with client and construction teams. Presumably, this initiative was not taken due to conflicting interests and a lack of trust and genuine leadership within the project team. The case study has highlighted some potential impacts of the trend for globalization in the. Remote design teams promote innovative personal and professional relationships, but may conversely raise technological, managerial and organizational barriers to the integration of design and construction.
Therefore, an informed choice of the procurement method and innovations in management, technology and human resources are required to establish trust and strengthen cooperation in international design teams. Banwell, H. Barlow, J. Bobroff, J. Bezelga and P. Brown, S. Chan E. Chinowsky, P. Davenport, D. Egan, J. Garcia, F. Gray, C. Harvey, J. Jawahar-Nessan, L.
Love, P. MUSA, E. Nam, C. Pocock, J. Phase I. Wang, Y. Weingardt, R. Yin, R. Zaidan, E. Design management as a discipline addresses such concern through two central schools of thought. The first focuses on organizing the design firm, and the second aims to better understand the design process its nature, stages and activities and to propose improved communication and coordination mechanisms.
Nevertheless, the recent adoption of procurement routes in which contractors are responsible for design, construction and facilities management has imposed on contractors the need to manage design to maintain competitiveness. Research results are presented in terms of the problems contractors face in managing design, the necessity for appropriate design management and the skills contractors believe are required for effective design management. Complexities lie within the technical knowledge, information availability, the uniqueness of design and interactions between different stakeholders Sebastian, Design involves a number of decisions with numerous interdependencies Cornick, ; Ballard and Koskela, There are often conflicting requirements, demanding an effort to recognize, understand and manage trade-offs, and decisions must usually be made quickly and sometimes without complete information Reinertsen, ; Sanban et al, ; Koskela, A large number of stakeholders are involved, such as architects, project managers, structural engineers, building services engineers and marketing consultants.
Moreover, feedback from production and operation takes a long time to be. Design management, as a body of knowledge, has emerged with the aim of reaching a better understanding of these issues and how they should be tackled. In recent years, the rising complexity of projects and growing market competition has significantly increased the pressures to improve design performance i.
Such complexities affect both designers and contractors.
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Within this environment, contractors need to appropriately manage the design process to maintain competitiveness in the marketplace and to reduce wastage both in design and in downstream construction activities Broadbent and Laughlin, However, to date, design management research has not sufficiently emphasized how contractors could manage design, what their role is in this process and what barriers they face. Such a gap may be a partial consequence of the fact that design management has typically been approached mainly from the perspective of the different professionals involved in design Press and Cooper, Therefore, a broader perspective on design management is needed.
This paper aims to partially address this issue by analysing data from two case studies in which contractors were responsible for managing the design process. Questions for further research are also posed. Even though excellence in management is not considered a substitute for high-quality creativity and innovation, it can represent the difference between success and failure in multidimensional and complex project environments Cooper and Press, Emmitt poses that in architecture, the work of Brunton et al represents an early attempt to introduce managerial concepts in design.
The search for an understanding of how people perform complex cognitive activities has been the underlying principle of design research for the past four decades Kalay, During this period, there has been a slow but steady growth in understanding design ability. Similarly, the.
In general, past research has focused on two different design management dimensions i. However, such distinction may be potentially misleading since the two interconnect i. From a project management or individual job perspective, the design process has been studied from two different viewpoints. The first aims to increase understanding of the nature of the design activity e. Lawson et al, Kagioglou et al, Along these lines, design management has been closely related to a concern with systematic design methods, focusing on the outcome of design decisions i.
As a result, the need to consider the whole life cycle of projects became apparent. Architectural management evolved from approaching design as an isolated activity at the front-end of projects, to cover the project from inception through to demolition, recycle and reuse. Figure 1 describes the context in which design management happens, and demonstrates the importance of communication and collaboration with different stakeholders. These are essential design and design management skills.
Figure 1 demonstrates some of the different issues that need to be considered by design managers. Nevertheless, for design management to be effective, a more detailed understanding of skills needs is essential. A brief description of such skills,. Bloom et al state that, put simply, skills are what an individual possesses, and these can be learnt both informally on the job and formally through training. It is important to recognize that there is a natural way in which humans develop the ability to design e.
However, the development of design skills could be compared to the acquisition of a language, in that it is a continuous process beginning in childhood Lawson, It is accepted that in order to locate design skills and competences i. Differing design professions have evolved by educational push and by corporate and consumer pull, which means that there are various perspectives from which to assess the design and the design management profession and its future Press and Cooper, It is well known that design activity includes high cognitive abilities, including creativity, synthesis and problem solving.
Cross reviews the field of expertise in design, linking it to design behaviour and the design process. Expert designers are, therefore, solutionfocused, not problem-focused. Generating a wide range of alternative solutions is a recommended strategy in the literature e. Reinertsen, However, Cross points out that this may not be necessarily good, as most expert designers tend to.
The study of the way in which expert designers behave may provide clues as to how design management should be approached; however, the links between these two areas appear to be unclear in the literature. They also require communication skills, both verbal and visual, to coordinate the exchanges of information throughout design development, and to explain the concepts to the stakeholders whenever necessary Press and Cooper, Therefore, design managers need to have technical skills, looking at design as a sequence of activities based on a rationalized approach to a technical problem; cognitive skills, approaching the skills and limitations of the individual designer; and social skills, looking at how designers interact with other stakeholders and how this influences teamwork and value generation Cross and Clayburn, Even though such descriptions are important, it is believed that more information is needed to support a better understanding of design management and of the skills that effective design managers should possess.
The currently poor understanding of the role of design managers within different contexts e. The research uses qualitative approaches to inductively and holistically understand human experience in contextspecific settings. Thus, design management developed by contractors was analysed with an emphasis on meanings, facts and words to reach an understanding of the phenomena in practice. Within this context, a case study approach with exploratory characteristics was used to understand the overall role of contractors in managing design, and examine the skills that design managers need to perform such activity.
The two companies involved in the case study are major construction contractors within the UK, and both are heavily involved with design management due to the type of procurement adopted i. The companies were also selected because they considered design management to be of strategic importance. Documentary evidence for company B incorporated procurement information e.
All interviews were tape recorded and verbatim transcribed, generating a detailed report on design management issues faced by the companies. Data analysis was developed with the aid of content analysis. The background of each company is discussed, followed by a description of its role in managing design. Interview quotes are provided to enrich the discussion. Finally, the role of design managers is discussed.
The discussion section presents the cross-case analysis and draws major conclusions. The company has main offices in 18 different regions in the UK. The discussion presented here focuses on the role of design managers within the firm, as well as the problems faced by the company in managing design, which triggered the process model development.
Design management problems: the role of design management In company A, design management is perceived as a significant risk due to the fact that badly managed design can cause increased construction costs, rework, changes and time delays. More importantly, poor design can cause failure in bidding, affecting competitiveness. Even though its importance is clearly acknowledged, design is the most inconsistently managed process across the company.
Inappropriate planning, poor reviews, poor resource availability and poor quality were issues identified. As stated by a senior design manager interviewed:. As part of the programme, a design management process model was developed. The model aims to improve design management skills and therefore bring all company design managers up to a minimum standard. Figure 2 also shows the hierarchical structure of the model, which presents three different levels of detail i.
The model defines project deliverables as well as information needs in terms of activities, technology. Design work is always sub-let to external consultancies. Progress is usually monitored against high-level milestones. However, milestones do not focus on the information that should be produced but rather on major activities such as getting planning approval. Furthermore, there is a belief that the detail design phase should be pulled from construction planning as, in most cases, design and construction are developed concurrently , but this does not happen because of poor information transfers with external designers.
As a consequence, many design decisions are taken on site. Design review meetings occur less often than would be appropriate. Design fixity see Kagioglou et al, for a definition should be sought through these reviews, but the concept of fixity seems to be poorly understood, and there is no clarity on how it could be achieved. Designers want to reduce their own costs Further difficulties occur when design is novated to the company. Of those, three are designers and nine come from different backgrounds e.
Therefore, it appears that most design managers do not have appropriate knowledge, and possibly do not have the necessary skills, to manage design. So most of them Finally, the company design managers suffer difficulties with external architectural consultancies as, in many cases, the latter believe the contractor to be taking over their responsibilities. This demonstrates tensions with regard to who should manage design — designers as service providers, or contractors as the internal client. Skills required Company A has difficulties in defining the role of design managers and consequently the skills required to perform the activity.
Company offices in different regions work independently and this generates problems in implementing a unified approach. Furthermore, some of the company managers believe that as design work is subcontracted, design management should be too. Others believe that design is of strategic importance and, therefore, its management should be taken over by the company for its own benefit, as well as for the benefit of its clients. Even though there was not an agreement with respect to subcontracting or developing design management internally, work was conducted as part of the process model design to establish basic design management skills.
These are described as follows. First, the design manager should map the specific project process, based on the generic model. The project process should form the basis for planning and controlling design development, including the delivery of work by external consultants and subcontractors.
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Weekly meetings should be held to ensure work is developed to schedule, and the design manager should have authority to coordinate the participants and activities of each phase. Second, the design manager should appoint appropriately skilled design consultants. Fourth, issues of design aesthetics, buildability, costs, quality and programme constraints should be appropriately balanced. Finally, soft human skills are mentioned in terms of providing leadership and establishing teamwork. However, it seems that the development of an overarching standard approach to design management within the firm remains a major challenge.
This is partially a consequence of the divergent perspectives on design management within the company, which has been evidenced through discussions observed by the researcher about the implementation of the design process model. This demonstrates the importance and lack of clarity about the design management approach at company A.
The company has a major track record in working through initiatives such as private finance initiative PFI and design build finance and operate DBFO schemes with the public sector. Through LIFT, a number of schemes are clustered and delivered by a single private sector partner. Company B is the private sector partner in two major LIFTs in the UK, being responsible for designing, building, financing the facilities and providing facilities management and support services over a year period.
Company B was responsible for procuring designers and managing the design process in the development of LIFT schemes. The design of such schemes is challenging, as buildings are innovative and complex. Complexities lie within the need to provide therapeutic environments supportive of the healing process and the need for a patient-centred service model Gesler et al, The functional level of the buildings and the operating conditions are complex, as different services need to be delivered jointly, and the service mix and ways of operation are varied and unknown at the outset.
Design management problems: the role of design management Company B considers effective design management essential in controlling the front-end of the majority of its projects. Furthermore, design quality is considered paramount to maintain and increase competitive advantage. However, the company faces design management difficulties.
The occurrence of these issues is illustrated through the description of problems that have occurred on a specific primary healthcare project. Requirements were not ranked neither was the ability to deliver analysed. Furthermore, there was no audit trail for design changes in place. Requirements changes had been dealt with directly by the architects, and requests from users were generally included in the design without considering affordability or the effects that the changes had in terms of time delays.
And when they did, then they managed to refine their requirements. And there had been design solutions that had cost a fortune that had to be removed as inappropriate design solutions. So it was an unstructured, ill-disciplined process. As in company A, design managers in company B come from a variety of professional backgrounds i.
Most importantly, many design managers did not have all the capabilities necessary to appropriately perform their role. The design managers interviewed did not have previous training or experience in design, as one had a degree in construction management and worked as a production coordinator, and the second had a building degree and had worked with construction planning. It is believed that this may have influenced some of the problems that occurred at the project level. Interview data also made clear that design managers in company B tend to approach their work from personal, and sometimes contrasting, perspectives.
For instance, one design manager believed that as he was representing the contractor, he should not be involved in requirements capture and management. On the other hand, a second design manager believed that he should manage requirements and provide an appropriate link between clients, contractors and designers. Unfortunately, he faced problems in performing such activities because of his skills level and his poor bargaining power with both the client organization and the designers.
Such different managerial approaches make explicit the lack of clarity in design management roles and responsibilities at the company level. Skills required Company B has stated the design management skills it requires in terms of different issues. Design managers are expected to have appropriate professional qualifications e. Also, the design manager is considered to be key in creating a seamless link from design, through procurement into construction, commissioning and handover.
In this sense, design managers are expected to play an active part within the wider project team, liaising and coordinating the design team, the client, trade designers, statutory authorities and other interested parties e. Therefore, it is believed that design managers need listening, communicating and asserting skills, in addition to a thorough practical and technical knowledge. Finally, design managers must be able to control the costs of the emerging design solutions and be capable of ensuring that the delivered design meets contractual and construction requirements.
Therefore, clarity of roles and responsibilities, the availability of appropriately skilled design managers and a clear vision of what the company is trying to achieve through design management are main issues. However, research results demonstrate poor clarity on all these issues at both case study companies. There were divergent and sometimes conflicting perspectives on design management by the top management, regional managers and design managers throughout company A.
Similarly, at company B, each design manager appeared to be taking a personal view on how design should be managed. This is evidenced by the fact that design managers took conflicting approaches to. Poor control of design changes and difficulties in managing communications and delays were also identified.
Generally speaking, the design managers from both case study contractors appeared to have inappropriate understanding, skills and knowledge about design. These issues raise questions that need to be answered through further research. First, should the management of the design process be the responsibility of developers, contractors, designers or clients? Market trends indicate that major contractors in the UK are involved with design management, so research needs to be developed to clarify the most appropriate role for contractors throughout design development.
Finding means to appropriately empower design managers working for contractors and also engage designers by demonstrating benefits would be essential to ease such tensions. Third, can stakeholders from varied non-design backgrounds achieve the necessary capabilities to manage design without appropriate training? And would the establishment of a unified conceptual approach to design management reduce the occurrence of problems in practice? Finally, the appropriate managerial strategies to be adopted by contractors need to be established. Is it appropriate for design to be managed solely through a system of personal beliefs?
In effect, an appropriate level of process control should be sought, allowing efficiency and reliability of stable process activities to be achieved throughout the different company projects Barrett and Stanley, However, at the same time, design managers should retain the capability to identify situations. This would support improvement and innovation, allowing for managerial autonomy in each project. In the current context of contractors taking managerial responsibility over the design process, this issue becomes even more important as a new design management direction emerges.
Case study data evidenced shortcomings in practice in terms of establishing the role of contractors in managing design, as well as poor clarity regarding the skills and competences necessary for design managers working for contractors. Based on these issues, questions for further research were proposed. The lack of a clear theoretical foundation for design management influences the problems faced in practice.
To date, research has failed to provide an overarching framework that could support improvements in practice. Also, due to the great diversity of design practice, poor consideration has been given to the importance of context, organizational and project issues in design management. Poor clarity with regard to any of these would lead to problems in design management practice. More specifically, clarity is needed as to how different stakeholders should approach design management so that the best value and most effective processes can be achieved. E-mail: R. Cooper lancaster.
Daniel, F. Emmitt, S. Formoso, C. Gesler, W.
Kalay, Y. Akintoye, A.
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Ballard, G. Barrett, P. Krippendorff, K. Lawson, B. Bennett, J. Bloom, N. Broadbent, J. Mozota, B. Press, M. Brunton, J. Reinertsen, D. Sanban, K. Cooper, R. Cornick, T. Sebastian, R.
Silverman, D. At the same time, contemporary consumer culture calls for customized and personalized goods. This evolution also leads to a demand for precise definitions of the values and qualities that can be used as managing tools in common building practice and it puts the traditional architectural design process under pressure.
This paper outlines an approach to architectural quality as dealt with in the design process in an industrialized context. It also presents a way to analyse how and to what degree design processes are formed strategically according to specific architectural intentions values. Through detailed interviews with professional architects, the way in which they manage the design process and how the architectural potentials are realized when dealing with modern industrial processes are examined.
To analyse and structure the empirical data, a model was developed consisting of four approaches for action. The approaches are categorized along different dichotomies in order to point out different ways in which the offices can direct their design process strategies and reach particular end-results goals. Two examples from the analysis are discussed according to the dichotomies and subsequently developed into a general classification focusing on strategy.
A description is given of how the model was tested in the architectural education at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts — School of Architecture. The overall research project has two aims — to help offices identify the characteristics and specific methods of working with architectural quality in an industrialized context, and to generate a common debate about quality in industrialized architecture.
It is hoped that by presenting a way to talk about strategy and architectural value, it will inspire further elaboration of the field of strategic design management. Similarly, we are facing a new consumer culture that calls for multiple and more customized goods, which leads to more specified quality demands Baudrillard, They can be found in the general aspiration for exact definitions of values and qualities, which can be used as standardized. Consequently, architecture and the design process are ruled by a mixture of quality standards and managing tools that do not relate to the architectural project as a holistic entity or, it could be argued, to architecture at all.
Each step is difficult to fully plan and predict and when it comes to the end-result, it is impossible to control. In our opinion, these two points highlight the need for a more conscious approach among practising architects as to how and to what degree strategic design management should be a part of the architectural design process.
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This is in order to better translate visions into built real form and realize as many of the embedded values as possible in a building project when confronted with the conditions of an industrialized reality. The research project discussed in this article is an empirical investigation into how professional architects define and manage architectural qualities and values in the design process. It focuses especially on the architectural potential freedom and constraints , which lies in the use of contemporary industrial manufacturing processes.
Questions touched upon are: How is architectural quality defined in specific architectural solutions? Which strategies and methodologies are being used in order to reach specific goals architectural qualities in the production of architecture today? Architectural quality includes a number of dimensions that are not easily recognizable within a. The industrial concept of quality primarily concerns functional and technical matters whereas architecture and its qualities reach much further as a culturally dependent product Frampton, Besides functional and technical issues, architectural quality also embraces aesthetic and ethical aspects e.
As such, the concept of architectural quality concerns human existence, our needs and aspirations, and its core values can be said to have existed unchanged as long as the history of mankind. It then becomes a matter of perception and association i. I give meaning to what I see perception , based on my previous knowledge and experience. According to Pallasmaa, it is important to be aware of the observed qualities and the generative concepts in relation to architectural perception as two different, but intertwining, levels of perception.
In our opinion, this means that architectural quality can never be expressed as a single formula and neither is it possible to make direct comparisons between different levels of quality and different architectural solutions. This means that not only the architectural design process as described above but also the very concept of architectural quality seems to be challenged by the processes linked to industrialized manufacturing and computer technology which both require strict planning and a predictable output.
The architects that have been interviewed all work in the field of industrialized architecture and present interesting attitudes. As part of the project, we have formulated a model consisting of four approaches for action ideal types 3 which helps to categorize and structure the different ways in which the architectural offices try to manage the design process and the end-results.
The approaches are not exact representations of any empirical reality, but try to collect a series of related motives for action, arranged as clear-cut strategies. The model was conceived through a brainstorm exercise based on general intuitive experience and specific impressions from the interviews, but has subsequently and continually been corrected and refined during the analysis of the interviews, while used as a way to structure the analysis. In this way, the model works more as a dynamic tool than as a rigid theoretical framework. Furthermore, it has been the intention to make the model useful outside this specific research project i.
Each represents different strategies along four sets of dichotomies. The dichotomies — as well as the approaches — have been adjusted and refined throughout the work with the empirical results. The brief, the given conditions and the context sets up a basic framework as a starting point. The role of the architect is not to revolutionize the world or architecture, but to present qualified proposals and improve the general standards. Knowledge is accumulated through a kind of apprenticeship based on routines and tradition and it is matured through working on specific projects.
Knowledge is primarily produced and held by the involved employees in each project and there is no systematic cross-project evaluation and transmission. Architects deal with what is possible within the given situation. Objectives concerning architectural quality are defined by the. A personification of this approach could be the craftsman. In summary, the pragmatic approach defines architecture as a discipline depending on other disciplines. The approach is primarily projectoriented, based on tradition evolution with an intuitive non-explicit use of knowledge.
The role of the architect is to interpret and synthesize the many different inputs. Knowledge is systematically gained and critically held up against present knowledge. This means that knowledge is accumulated directly within the company. The working methods are fixed and transparent, and well-known solutions typologies are repeated while continually adjusted and refined. Every task is specified so that responsibility can be distributed easily. Objectives concerning architectural quality transcend the project level, for example sustainability, low-cost building or exploitation of the potential of daylight.
Through a fixed method, architects try to reach some defined goals of quality. The personification would be the scientist. Summing up — the academic approach claims architecture to be an autonomous discipline. It is primarily processoriented, based on tradition evolution and has a high level of explicit knowledge accumulation. Knowledge is based on theoretical models and experience collected for internal use. The business administration is in charge of the total amount of knowledge as a platform for decision-making. This assures an optimal use of all the know-how and skills held within the company by its employees.
In this way, room is made for new ideas to emerge by possessing sufficient economical resources in each project, as well as in the company as a whole. A personification could be the manager. It is primarily process-oriented, innovative and has a high degree of explicit knowledge accumulation.
To work as an architect is a vocation. Every work of art has its own significant premises, which means that you cannot transfer the same knowledge from one project to another. Reusing former ideas or solutions can even restrain the work. Every project must start as a tabula rasa where a particular concept sets up the framework for possible action. This concept may originate or be inspired by part of reality, but generates its own logic. The quality is embedded in the value of the concept, the degree of innovation or the special characteristics and the clarity of the final result.
However, this quality definition does not exclude technical and functional dimensions, but they are not regarded as main parameters. The approach can be personified as the artist. Summing up — the conceptual approach claims architecture to be an autonomous discipline. It is primarily project-oriented and innovative and has an intuitive non-explicit use of knowledge. The four approaches are to be understood as impartial and we have tried to not favour one approach over another.
We have assumed that all approaches can result in high levels of architectural quality and great value for the end-users and society. The approaches are an expression of a cultivation and grouping of related characteristics. In reality, architectural practice will always be more ambivalent and often point towards different approaches simultaneously. As such, general architectural practice most likely forms a complex combination of different strategies.
The figure and dichotomies should help to distinguish the approaches from each other and facilitate their comparison. A process focus starts from the assumption that structuring and managing the process is the best way to control the result. The way we do things has a great influence on the final outcome. A unique result can be an outcome of many different processes. Explicit knowledge accumulation mainly uses external media and universal codes5 e. This type of knowledge accumulation facilitates communication and exchange by making it more independent of the actors involved. Intuitive non-explicit.
The actual knowledge accumulation will always be a combination of the two extremes. This has to do with the interpretative act, which will always be involved in the translation of any form of information independent of media and code into usable real-time knowledge. Innovation has to do with the ability or the intention to throw away what you already know and take in completely new information without prejudice. This knowledge can be both reliable knowledge generated in external environments7 and more ad-hoc knowledge generated by a particular combination of conditions that are present in the specific case or situation.
Evolution means that the main part of the knowledge or information employed in a project is already possessed by the actor the architect before the beginning of the project. Compared to nature itself, evolution is based on mutation where minor corrections and refinements make an organism object or process more apt in a certain environment, context or situation. Yet again, reality will always be somewhere in between.
It is not possible to start completely from scratch even if you wanted to. There will always be reuse of some basic knowledge e. At the opposite end of the spectrum, total reuse will not generate new ideas and cannot even be defined as evolution. An autonomous architecture is an architecture that is exclusively defined within itself and the architect dominates when it comes to deciding what is relevant to include in this definition. On the other hand, architecture as dependant discipline, places the architect as one actor among many others in the production of architecture. This is not necessarily constraining for the development of architecture; the vague borders can be seen as possibilities and inspiration rather than limitations.
The dichotomies represent a simplified way to classify the different theoretical approaches. This should help to make the model a useful tool for analysis and discussion of specific empirical reality in architectural offices. In this research project, it has been tested on a collection of interviews with professionals from different Danish and foreign architectural offices.
An interesting analysis would not try to make an exact match between reality and theory, but rather discuss the clashes between the rigid classifications and the ever-complex reality. Design strategies seem to work on several levels and some of them are only indirectly related to the actual design process. A strategy can be directed strictly towards the formal design — the process of giving physical shape to a project, but it can also have broader technical scope introducing industrial building techniques or deal with more legislative themes such as building standards and codes.
The strategy can also focus on external factors such as environmental issues or politics, which may be considered to have. Here, we will briefly present two examples from the analysis that both present high strategic consciousness but comprise very different natures spanning from the concrete exact to the abstract. In the mids, the office developed a building concept or system called Comfort House, which is based on a business consortium that joins contractor NCC and engineers Carl Bro with LTA as the architects.
The concept or system is partly an organizational framework and partly a constructive system for housing complexes of varying size. The managing director at the time was interviewed. The office is now owned by a partnership of leading employees. Most of the statements from the interviews place LTA closest to the pragmatic approach, although many features are also related to the conceptual approach.
The management and academic approaches share no significant resemblances with the way LTA seems to work. In very general terms, the approach can be characterized as clearly projectoriented mainly using intuitive non-explicit knowledge. Furthermore, LTA does not state architecture as an autonomous discipline while both innovative and evolutionary features can be found. Comfort House is a standardized building system, although the starting point in LTA is the actual project rather than a general strategy.
There is no fixed procedure or a complete tabula rasa. The organized framework and the building system give some common directions for the different actors involved in the process but leave a great deal of openness for the architect in some specific parts e. A common set of rules make it possible for the involved actors to work.
The project-oriented focus characterized by the pragmatic approach, and which also can be found in the LTA interview, leads to quite specific strategic statements8 e. The analysis points to a moderate to high level of strategic consciousness directed towards exact concrete goals Figure 3. AT is the largest architectural office in Denmark and was founded in The firm shows an explicit interest in industrialized processes and, among other reasons, was selected because of its biannually published Videnregnskab — a written and illustrated summary of its business and where it wants to focus in the future.
The interview places AT close to the management approach. Explicit knowledge accumulation is the aim and to some degree a fact. AT does not state architecture as an autonomous discipline but claims extreme dependency on related fields while many innovative features are present with the aim to empower the architect.
The process orientation is found in the focus on organization within the company and the organization. However, it must be stated that the interviewee works at the organizational level, which is not necessarily representative of all employees. One of the initiatives is a pronounced specialization of the staff, which are grouped into expert departments with different profiles.
A particular task force is specialized in research and accumulation of knowledge. This part of the company does not deal with external costumers, but rather generates value indirectly by supporting and inspiring the other departments. The role of the architect is not to decide what is wrong or right in terms of architecture, but instead to enable the involved actors to make the best decisions. The architect thus becomes a process manager more than a decision maker. By opening up and giving other actors influence in traditional working fields of the architect, the possibility of gaining access to other decisive areas seems to be maximized.
This turns the way the architect works upside down and points to distinct innovative features. Most of the strategic choices presented in the interview point towards a more general level nonproject specific with focus on the process instead of on the final product. Strategies are less directed against internal factors e. One of the major problems in the building industry, according to the interviewee, is precisely the improvised character of this organizational setup. The analysis points to a high level of strategic consciousness directed towards abstract goals Figure 3.
To complete the schema, the other interviewed offices reveal considerably lower strategic consciousness mainly of an exact nature, which in many ways corresponds to the pragmatic approach. A low strategic consciousness of a more abstract nature would correspond to an extreme version of the conceptual approach although Figure 3 cannot be understood just by locating each of the four approaches in a quadrant. All the cases present. The aim of this project is not to confirm this, but instead to contribute to make these companies more responsive to the way they work.
Preliminary attempts to test the model were made in March and November with two different groups of architectural students. In March, the students attended a half-day workshop on project design and group processes. They were presented with the model of action and a couple of examples from the analysis, and were given time to think about and write down their personal approach using the model and the four theoretical approaches as a point of departure.
Each student was then asked to present their approach. The idea was to discuss how the personal approaches related to the theoretical ones and, on a more specific level, to see if the results could point towards different roles among the students in their current group project. The presentations and the subsequent discussion showed that the students placed themselves in similar ways. Most identified themselves mainly with the conceptual approach with some resemblances to the pragmatic approach.
However, many of the students also claimed that more systematic knowledge accumulation — as characterized by both the management and the academic approach — would be desirable, but that they had no tools to reach such an end. The second workshop was planned to run for a week. This time, groups of four or five students worked with the model, designing a building system.
As an introduction to the whole scheme the students first had to define their own approach on the basis of the model. Each group was then given a specific approach that they had to follow strictly. The students found it difficult not to fall back on their traditional working methods, but after a while they began to find it easier when they dropped their individual need to influence the project and instead worked as a group.
When executing their schemes, they fully carried out their roles and the various project results of the groups turned out very differently — very much in accordance with the different approaches. In general, the students seemed enthusiastic about trying these new working methods and some of them said they were surprised how effectively they had worked with the project. The approaches had provided a neutral ground for their cooperation.
As for the results, it was quite astonishing how much they differed and hence provided interesting material for academic discussion. The model appeared to work; however, as part of an architectural education exercise it was more important in helping students to understand the core elements of the profession, rather than providing students with operational tools.
It is our hope that the model can and will be used by architectural offices in discussions about strategy and that it can contribute to make architects more conscious about the ways they manage the design process and try to reach goals concerning architectural quality.
Why Choose Guildford College?
Two other projects have been formulated to follow up this project. One project delves further into the action-perspective. The thesis is that the correspondence between these two levels can vary considerably and it thus becomes interesting to analyse both sides — especially with a focus on the strategic consciousness described in the previous section. When dealing with design, it is a fact that you can never claim that a specific process will lead to specific previously defined qualities. The aim is to develop the terminology and concept formation on architectural quality in an industrialized context claiming that this will, to some extent, differ from its more traditional equivalent.
We need new or supplementary concepts to be able to talk about and hence better understand the industrialized architecture we find today. The result from the two projects will be used to describe characteristics of the relationship between process and product. Our argument is that given the new and industrialized context as described above there is definitely a need for this conscious choice.
The traditional design process is under pressure and in this context it is our opinion that new measures must be taken to ensure that design is not reduced merely to cost control, industrial just-in-time production or building codes. We believe the proposed model, including the dichotomies, represents a way to form a language by which we can work more consciously with the complexity of architecture in an industrialized context.
By using the model on our empirical data as well as in an educational context, we have been able to point out and discuss different strategies and how they are used in order to aim at specific goals. It is our hope that it will inspire further use and elaboration of the field of strategic design management. Coser, L. Social Context, San Diego, Harcourt.
Frampton, K. Lundequist, J. Pallasmaa, J. Beim, A. NOTES 1 Baudrillard reveals the implications of the consumer society in relation to physical cultural objects. Ideal type does not refer to any moral ideals nor does it ever correspond to concrete reality e. Coser, pp — Even shared codes e. Contractors and owners are well aware that BIM has created new opportunities for collaboration and cost reduction. An obvious way to reap structural-design efficiencies from BIM is to pass 3D models directly to fabricators, more or less eliminating the need for 2D structural detailing.
He gladly accepts the role of evangelist by collaborating with building owners, architects, general contractors, and steel fabricators on new applications in 3D design and methods of communication. In practice, that means he talks about his concepts at industry events such as Autodesk University. So why take financial risks to promote change? If we are to be leaders, we have to take this seriously.
As structural detailing and design converge, Bleiman points to rebar as low-hanging fruit. There has already been a great deal of progress in bringing together the design and detailing of rebar. For example, Bleiman points out that structural rebar details could be integral in BIM concrete design to facilitate better and earlier analysis of, say, concrete-column capacities.