What do you see?

Vision. An often used word in management meetings, goal setting conferences and biblical sermons. What is it and how is it relevent for a house building project?

With any project, having your eyes fixed on the final goal with a solid framework in place to achieve it ensures a better success rate. To build Architecture you need many hands, a team of people involved in each stage of the process. It is achieved by a collaboration of the client, the architect, the engineer, the builder, and finally through the interaction of the final inhabitants. To produce a great building everyone, with their own amazing areas of expertise, has a valuable input into the project.

An Architects role starts at the beginning – to set the Vision for the building based on the clients brief – the conceptual framework against which all this expertise is combined. Getting this Vision (concept) right at the beginning is critical to the ultimate success of the rest of the project. This is where the architects ‘sight’ is invaluable  – it involves seeing the finish line and crafting a path to get there.

The architect must continue to ensure that the team members roles are clearly defined and choreographed so that the movement of information flows smoothly. They must then move into an Analytic role as they detail up each junction and connection, and that each material included within the project is consistent with the bigger design concept/framework. However their role of looking after the Vision continues throughout the project to keep the course consistent and ensure the goal is achieved, no other member of the building team has this as their main role.

Every project has variations that occur along the way while on site which need to be assessed against the original concept. Areas critical to weathertightness and the main underlying concept need to be adhered to – the most successful Architecture is faithful to that original vision.That is not to say that other team members – clients/builders/engineers will have changes that need to be made along the course of the project  that are equally as valid. The temptation of some architects is to hold too tightly to the Analytic role where every single detail is absolutely critical and unchangeable – however in their Vision role the architect needs to assess the changes are consistent with the overall framework of the design,  while still ensuring that the goal is still in sight.

Dreams are the foundations for tomorrow.The very first Vision of the building has a utopian perfection about it. It is in essence a beautiful dream that we focus on as we walk forwards. If the design framework and team co ordination has been put into place well, then the finished building will be the mirror image of this, but with a lovely fingerprint patina of the skills of the other team members involved in the process.

Images

Creative commons : Claude Nicolas Ledoux http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_Nicolas_Ledoux

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