23 March 2010

Team Building

We are required to work in teams of three, but forming these groups is not as easy as counting off.  Studio groups involve friendship, working style, expectations, and language barriers.  They are like short term marriages and you don’t want to end up divorced.  Occasionally, in a studio, a break up happens leaving one person to do the work of three.  And since,  for the first three weeks we have already been individually brainstorming and researching ideas for non-linear architecture projects, compatibility of ideas was critical too.   
The assignment for our studio is a new design school for Penn.   I've been thinking about how people organize themselves into groups within a school of design.  My initial assumption is that the functions of a building can be organized by simple rules based on desire of the students and faculty to learn.  The process has the potential to define the proximity and size of rooms, but does little in terms of structure that could make a building.  Knowing my limitations, I teamed up with Dwight Engel, a friend who has similar interests but I have never worked with before.  For this studio he is interested in the relationship of structure and transparent surfaces--walls and windows. 
So Sugita is an easy choice for a second teammate.  Working together last semester we produced one of my favorite projects I have completed at Penn.  Dependable and intelligent, he kept our group moving forward toward a final result.  His interest in self-organizing circulation paths fit nicely with my programmatic spaces and Dwight’s structural ideas. 
With the engagement confirmed, we meet--Dwight, a fit, stylish guy with curly brown hair who is always willing to talk about architecture;  So, an immaculately dressed Japanese with black rimmed " architect" glasses;  And myself, the least well dressed and the most opinionated of the group.  We make our first decision, unanimously, to go out for burgers and beer.    

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