Introduction

Premise

Managing design is difficult. To tackle the task, this book speaks across traditional industry silos. For designers: “Why are contractors so impatient? Why don't they understand design?” For contractors: “What motivates architects and engineers?” For owners: “Why can't they get along? Why is this so difficult?” For students and teachers: “What do we need for future practice? We've proven we need each other, but can we understand one another better to collaborate at higher levels?” For all of us: “What does the future hold and can we shape it?”

“Opportunity dances with those on the dance floor.”

– Anonymous

The following interviews with industry leaders—owners, architects, contractors, and academics—help us answer these questions and presents a passionate agenda for change. Dialogues with diverse, experienced leaders have the power to expand our understanding. What makes these conversations on the ambiguities of managing design valuable? Honesty, awareness, and empathy. The interviewees' openness on the issues and solutions around managing design shows that at the heart of our industry and its future is humanism.

“Yes, risk-taking is inherently failure-prone. Otherwise, it would be called ‘sure-thing-taking.'”

– Jim McMahon

How better to understand our teammates than to hear them speak? Discussions on the “dark side” of architect, contractor, and owner relationships are uncomfortable. They are also a prerequisite to navigating between creativity and discipline. ...

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