Learning from Practice

I’ve switched things up a bit this year – taken a bit of wisdom from the DTS Management Group and applied it to my own career. I’m currently working on a large project that’s come in to the office with a sophisticated BIM requirement. I’m also engaging other project teams and potential clients and collaborators in a more direct way than I have in some time.

As we’ve discussed in some of the DTS: Management sessions – and our DesignIntelligence article – immersing oneself into the project work is the most sure fire test of whether BIM & technology strategies fir the firm’s work, aspirations and personality. Several months and a few deadlines in, I’m already noticing real opportunities for improvement.

Today’s topic: Leveraging efficiencies early in the design phase

I really appreciate our intense design meetings. For this project our massing was simple but we ended up playing with a variety of options for how to subdivide it to achieve the most elegant solution. As we evaluated each idea, comparing and synthesizing them, I was devising ways to build the regulating geometry parametrically – so when changes happened we could easily accommodate them. We could save a few different files, develop each, and bring them to the table as reasonably developed ideas.

This method didn’t really take extra time. Rather, it was a matter of approach. We jumped right in and started sketching, then took the time to stop, evaluate, and rework, as usual. By paying as much attention to the process as we did to the design in those early days, we were able to explore more options, more thoroughly validate our assumptions, and present the client with a thoroughly reason, justified recommendation. And when it changed several weeks later, we were able to respond quickly.

Building out a project in this way shouldn’t be cumbersome. It needs to be a lightweight process that the entire team can understand, use, and appreciate. I’m pleased to say we were able to get it done on this one.

Image credit: Dezeen
Project: Dongdaemun Design Center, Seoul, Zaha Hadid

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