News Brief

Workbook Provides Hands-On Exercises to Cultivate Integrative Design

A new book offers practical guidance on how to foster a culture of meaningful collaboration.

Leading Collaborative Architectural Practice (Wiley, 2017) provides practical tools for strengthening leadership and communication skills, leading to more effective collaboration. 

Architectural practice must react and adapt as technological and cultural change continuously disrupt established ways of working. As the tools, processes, and priorities of the building industry evolve, the profession has responded by adopting increasingly collaborative models of organization and operation.

In Leading Collaborative Architectural Practice, authors Erin Carraher, Ryan Smith, and Peter Delisle offer building professionals strategies for an integrative approach to architectural production and show how a culture of collaboration supports innovative design solutions.

The book follows a two-year AIA research project that focused on defining the particular values, attitudes, and abilities associated with effective project team leadership. A unique, practical resource, it is organized as a workbook containing hands-on exercises to help readers implement leadership and communication techniques.

An example of the exercises included in the book is an activity intended to improve self-awareness. After introducing Luft and Ingham’s “Johari Window” model describing categories of perception and how these affect communication, readers are guided through a real-world scenario and a series of reflection prompts. Another exercise focuses on building understanding of various types of feedback and how these motivate different types of behavior.

By developing team members’ interpersonal skills, and promoting awareness and commitment in working relationships, these exercises can help foster a highly collaborative culture.

The book also includes case studies illustrating the successful strategies that real-world firms have implemented on a variety of projects. Descriptions of the particular leadership and communication dynamics of different project teams show readers how to develop and reinforce collaborative modes of practice.

In addition to discussing practical matters of successfully managing integrated project teams, the book also raises the question of what it means to facilitate integration at all levels of an architectural practice and how this can transform the organization’s work—and even, potentially, its mission.

For more information:

John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
wiley.com

Published May 25, 2017

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