This is the final part of our trilogy discussing the cornerstones of our business; being responsive, creative, and collaborative.  Today’s post will share the importance of working with a collaborative team in an environment that promotes communication.

The saying goes ‘two minds are better than one,’ and this is the foundation for a collaborative working environment.  There will always be times when you need to put your nose to the grindstone, work alone, and get things accomplished.  However a lot of times it helps to bounce ideas off someone, to talk about the project, the challenges, the solutions, and how we can better serve the client.

The importance of collaboration has come a long way from conference calls and gathering around the boardroom table.  It has become video meetings, shared databases, impromptu conversations and collaborative breakout areas.

We moved into our new office in fall of 2012.  When designing our space we realized the greatest solutions are often developed from everyday conversations.   This meant it was essential to have an open office that allowed for easy, on-the-spot collaboration.

The practice of architecture and the services we offer, to us, are personal.  We become personally engaged in our clients and their projects.  We build on a foundation of trust and confidence and become our client’s trusted advisor.  Therefore, it’s essential that we have the ability to expand on our knowledge and reach out to get differing opinions and approaches from our colleagues. This happens at scheduled collaboration sessions, but most often, it happens while getting coffee and seeing what someone posted on a white board.  Sketches are typically suggesting options for consideration, or even proposing a completely different direction.  Creativity happens when it happens.  You cannot force it.  So, having a collaborative open office supports the natural evolution of a project.  To us — it’s essential. This not only helps us develop creative solutions and designs but fosters a bond between team members.

With that being said, collaboration reaches further than our own internal team; it incorporates our clients and consultants as well.  Having a continuous open dialogue ensures ideas are fresh, expectations are known, solutions are created and questions are answered – all in real time.

Each member of the team brings an irreplaceable and unique view point to each aspect of the project.  You never know when inspiration will hit or what will spark an idea, but often times having an open discussion will lead you to ideas you would have never thought of on your own.