Monday, September 17, 2007

We DO IT Better

Collaborate, that is. This past Saturday I participated in the annual planning retreat of the Boston Society of Architects, known within the Greater Boston design community as the BSA. We began the program by all ninety-something of us in attendance stating or names, BSA or building industry affiliation and what we are passionate about. I said I was was passionate about collaboration and I know that we (the design community) will lead the fireworks of co-creation because we DO IT better than anyone else. (This play on words is intentionally playful. Yes, in my opinion, healthy collaboration almost always involves some flirting. Letting people know they are desirable partners is one of the arts of working with others few people talk about.)

The "we do it better" sentiment seemed to resonate in the room. Pam McKinney, one of the opening speakers, even referred to my claim in her concluding remarks. We all know in our hearts that the design-and-building community excells at collaboration, yet if no one else - in the business, legal, financial and/or medical communities - seems to know and, if no one knows it, does it even matter?

The conversation advanced, as it always does, to note that we all (the design community) spend too much time talking to people like ourselves that, for the most part, agree with us. How do we let others understand what we do and the value we bring to all human endeavor and compenate us fairly to share our knowledge with them?


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