Collaboration! Embrace it, Don’t Fear it!
By definition collaboration is the action of working with someone to produce something. So, why not work together with other architectural practices, or professionals within our industry?
Working together instead of against each other can have huge benefits to the client.
Collaboration within the workplace only needs to involve a group of like-minded people, sharing ideas, pooling their resources and skills in order to achieve one common goal… client satisfaction! People just need to check their egos at the door first.
We are so fortunate to be in this creative industry, assisting homeowners or businesses assess how they live and work; offering alternative design ideas and possibly, a new innovative way of thinking that can, quite simply, change their daily lives.
The Benefits to Our Clients and…Ourselves as Architectural Professionals
Working collaboratively, instead of individually as a practice, not only helps improve productivity as we challenge each other’s ideas, asking, is there another solution we have not considered?
It can also assist in empowering employees with a sense of purpose within their organisation to challenge themselves. Not only that, it then becomes easier to brainstorm ideas, solve existing problems or deliver the required work on time.
Creative people with varying ideas, perspectives, thought processes and expertise can work together to find innovative solutions, which in turn allows us to solve problems in a faster and more efficient manner, whilst giving the client something they wouldn’t normally receive by appointing a single architectural practice.
Teaming up enables individuals within each practice to share their ideas while understanding how their co-workers think, work, and operate. This, along with collaborating with other firms allows designers to learn from their colleagues and contemporaries and build upon their strengths.
As a result, collaboration proves to be mutually beneficial for both the client and the employees of each individual practice.
If I were a client, I would select two or three practices and ask if they’d consider collaborating on my project. Naturally, there is always that ugly conversation to be had regarding fees, but this can be solved in numerous ways. One is to simply agree a set cost with the client and then share it equally.
How it can Benefit Guernsey
Guernsey’s architectural heritage is varied, inheriting design from Europe and the mainland, imagine if just one designer was responsible for the architectural design of Guernsey’s built form. It would be a pretty boring and mundane place to live. Our varied building styles should be celebrated and continue to evolve through each generation that comes after us.
Even our local authorities recognise this with the more flexible policies and design approach adopted within the Island Development Plan… no longer do we see or hear those dreaded words “incongruous with its surroundings” as we did a decade ago.
To keep Guernsey the same, we need to nurture and maintain our little island, whilst at the same time, evolving and moving with the times. Collaboration with other architectural practices will ensure our heritage of varied architectural design is maintained – collaboration should not be feared, it should be embraced.