To deliver living architecture - architecture that is innovative, sustainable and value-based, requires something a little more than standard practice. We can't keep pretending that we can achieve different results working in the traditional way - the evidence we see in our cities clearly shows this. What is required is a holistic approach and process to ensure success - one that is collaborative. Collaboration is key, as without it all the team - from the professionals, contractors and sub-trades, are in isolation and are therefore working from a place of what they currently know independent from the project. A collaborative process provides the platform for the team to share an understanding of the project's purpose, where innovative solutions can be explored and assessed and where each person's work is interdependent.
This means that the approach and process of delivery is co-creative and that the decision-maker - the client is integral in the team. To help realise this, we actively select the team from the professionals, consultants and contractor for a project, as each project has a unique set of requirements. Each team member commits to evolving their skills and has the desire to operate under a collaborative process.
We see this as the only way to work in the architecture and construction industry, with its ever increasing compliance, rising costs and risk adverse processes that are continuously rolled out year after year.
Collaboration is one of CSA's foundations to which it adheres too.
It has been a focus both from a practice and research base. In 2007, I completed a Masters in Design Management with a thesis on "The Value of Collaborative Working in Architecture, a New Zealand study", plus I wrote many case studies for BRANZ and Constructing Excellence NZ, (all available under Practice - published works) and have completed the Regenerative Practitioner course in 2016 - all to help fine-tune our process to be able to deliver in this way.
Throughout our time in practice, we have found that authentic collaboration needs to go beyond the standard trine of cost, quality and time and embrace the human qualities that enable trust. Often harder to do, as it requires all of a person to show up, but if the processes are in place, what it does provide is a richer, more rewarding experience for everyone.