Architecture has always treasured the ideal of the lone creative genius but the reality we all work with today is that architecture is all about the team. Even Wright collaborated with the construction team and Gaudi based much of what he did on information learned from the trades.
Architecture, as always, involves a slew of stakeholders – not only the designers but also owners, operators, builders, colleagues, and partners working on various jobs like structural, HVAC, MEP or sustainability consulting.
Teamwork is the way of the world, so why should our profession be any different? And hey, whatever you think of Twitter and Facebook, this is the era of social communication. Why shouldn’t we get in on the action?
Even while collaborating, we can be architectural icons. We can still maintain our creative integrity. We might even do better work, make more money, and have more time for ourselves.
If you do want to collaborate effectively, start with a Building Information Modeling (BIM) software tool. This gives you not only the basic geometry, but packs spatial relationships, lighting, geography, quantities and properties of building components into the 3D model. The richer the foundation, the more powerful the collaboration.
This level of collaboration is all well and good, but why limit teamwork to just one office? Why not work with colleagues anywhere in the world? You can do everything else on the Internet, so why not great architecture? Let the Web be your virtual design studio. Today’s technology lets you work with a colleague a half a planet away like you were in the same room. You don’t need to wait for him or her to finish on a design before you can start on it. You can even comment back and forth in real time. In the past, it’s always been a chore to work over the Internet. Managing changes was a nightmare. You’d either e-mail files to one another and try to reconcile versions, or, if you were really clever, link multiple files in hopes they’d update.
Now you just do it. Software designed specifically for collaborative architecture handles everything. Better still, it lets you collaborate just as closely with other disciplines as with fellow architects. I can work in my BIM software, you can work in your structural engineering software, and someone else can work on the HVAC model. We can share, comment, accept and reject as easily if we were reviewing changes in a Word doc.
We could go on, but we’ve all got work to do. Beautiful, breathtaking, world-changing or paycheck-producing work.
Try our partner´s collaboration software for free at www.myarchicad.com.
Disclosure: Graphisoft is one of our partners, sponsor of our Software section.