So, what if the goal of an architecture studio is to build a sustainable building? Can you develop the whole project all by yourself?… What if the goal of our Prime Minister is to develop a sustainable smart city? Can you imagine him designing layouts? Of Course, not! Whether it is designing for an individual unit or mass, collaboration is the key factor for an effective long-lasting outcome. Each individual gains knowledge in varied fields according to his/her interest and builds an equal set of skills that help them to perform better within their respective domains. Therefore, to bring forth an impactful design solution, collaborative efforts by all the stakeholders that is important during the whole process.
“Collaboration is the process of two or more people or organizations working together to complete a task or achieve a goal.” states [Source: Wikipedia]
Let us try to understand the whole ‘collaboration concept’ and that it is not a modern-day term. Rather it has been a way of dealing with various tasks; it is a way of entrepreneurship since ancient times. How do you think Romans maintained to build and control such a huge empire for so long? Other than their making alliances for military powers, of course, it was a matter of positive efforts of collaboration.
Assume that you are a fresh graduate architect with zeal to change the education system of architecture where design studio seems just a fancy project. So, what do you think is your cup of tea? Teaching, is it? Not really…! You need to change the way the architecture profession is being practiced nowadays. This is how you would inspire the younger ones who will eventually study your process and analyze your design strategies which would, in return, help them build their individual perspective towards the design challenges
A collaborative approach redefines the important aspects of architecture which includes process, place, identity, culture, tradition, and economics. It is a process or method within the professional practice.
And external collaboration is an expansion of this process that includes experts from various disciplines contributing to the stability, efficiency, and quality of the project. With the advancement in technology and communication, the process has now become easy to deliver the required results, if well-planned.
Psychological, Physical, Socio-economical, and Cultural aspects are key considerations while planning and designing, may it be a product or a building or urban-scale projects.
Research and Conceptual thinking
Consider any project that has knocked your doors, may it be institutional, residential, commercial, or any other. The first and foremost layer to think upon is what are the current needs, current issues, and future demands of the inhabitants of the locality around. After these statistics, the survey of the previous occupants, and study of their living and/or working pattern should be well understood, so as to deliver an experiential space experience.
Involvement of psychologists for the study of public behavior at certain places, economists, and accountants for calculating the loss and profit, local agencies to make sure voices of locals are heard of, and government bodies to further channelize the process of planning. In these manners, we can bring logically effective solutions to the upliftment of society at a wider scale.
Researching and documenting what our intelligent ancestors left for us, and with the information processed during the planning stage, we now need to disseminate the solution. With the help of experienced architects and consultants, we try to design the product that would be evolved through a conscious process and collaborative efforts. Environmentalists, LEED consultants should also be involved throughout the process of designing any project.
Engineers, contractors, project management, waste management experts, and various consultancy teams are to be involved during the designing stage as well so as to incorporate their areas of expertise to avoid possible conflicts at the later stage of construction. Wherever possible, the involvement of the future occupants should be considered so as to help them understand the importance and effort seen with each detail. Post-occupancy reports and timely maintenance should be carried out responsibly by the assigned team.
The stages mentioned above are not the only ways to carry out a project; rather it should be reflected during the academics as well. So, if you start practicing your profession in an ethical way, to know now, who you are inspiring on the way. This is how you can change the way you are going to educate your next generation.
Through collaborative spirit, teamwork, and discipline we can build strong foundations of the future!