1st Edition

The Designer's Field Guide to Collaboration

By Caryn Brause Copyright 2017
    314 Pages
    by Routledge

    314 Pages
    by Routledge

    The Designer’s Field Guide to Collaboration provides practitioners and students with the tools necessary to collaborate effectively with a wide variety of partners in an increasingly socially complex and technology-driven design environment. Beautifully illustrated with color images, the book draws on the expertise of top professionals in the allied fields of architecture, landscape architecture, engineering and construction management, and brings to bear research from diverse disciplines such as software development, organizational behavior, and outdoor leadership training. Chapters examine emerging and best practices for effective team building, structuring workflows, enhancing communication, managing conflict, and developing collective vision––all to ensure the highest standards of design excellence.

    Case studies detail and reflect on the collaborative processes used to create award-winning projects by Studio Gang, Perkins+Will, Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners, Gensler, CDR Studio, Mahlum Architects, In.Site:Architecture, and Thornton Tomasetti’s Core Studio. The book also provides pragmatic ideas and formal exercises for brainstorming productively, evaluating ideas, communicating effectively, and offering feedback.

    By emphasizing the productive influence and creative possibilities of collaboration within the changing landscape of architectural production, the book proposes how these practices can be taught in architecture school and expanded in practice. In a changing world that presents increasingly complex challenges, optimizing these collaborative skills will prove not only necessary, but crucial to the process of creating advanced architecture.

    1. Why Collaboration?  Collaboration to Address Forces Larger than Design Practice  Collaboration to Address Issues Intrinsic to Design Practice  Global Practice  Collaborate to Reposition Practice   Case Study: In.Site:Architecture and the Perry Project  2. Envisioning the Team  Organizational Behavior and Design  Crafting the Conditions For Creativity  Composing the Collaborative Team  The Importance of Trust  Group Development: Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing  Case Study: Studio Gang and Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership  3. What Does Collaboration Look Like?  Project-based Collaborations  Serial Teaming  Visioning the Team  How Teams Work  Decision-making Styles Case Study: Perkins+Will and Ryerson University’s Church Street Development  4. Daredevils, Cheerleaders, and Pragmatists  The Importance of Roles  Networked Leadership  Developing Self-awareness  Assigning Roles  Case Study: Gensler, Executive Architect to the Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute  5. Team Communication  The Importance of Communication in Practice  Interpersonal Communication  Task Communication  Feedback as a Collaborative Tool  The Relationship of Space to the Exchange of Ideas  Case Study: Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners and Tata Consultancy Services’ Banyan Park  6. What’s Wrong with Conflict Anyway?  Origins of Conflict  Attitudes toward Conflict  Sources of Conflict in Design Practice  Understanding the Dynamics of Conflict  Strategies for Conflict Management and Resolution  Case Study: CDR Studio and Audi of America  7. Continuous Improvement  Organizational Reflection  Cultivating a Growth Mindset  Reflective Practice  Contracts, Project Delivery Methods, and Collaboration  Collaboration and Innovation  Case Study: Mahlum Architects  8. Collaborative Workflows  Technology and Collaboration  Changing Practice Landscape   Collaborating with Industry  BIM: Facilitating Collaboration  Information Exchange  Case Study: Thornton Tomasetti’s Core Studio  Appendix  Selected Bibliography  Index of Firms and Projects  Image Credits  Index


    Caryn Brause AIA LEED AP holds an M.Arch from the University of Virginia and a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. Brause is Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and principal of SITELAB Architecture + Design. Brause’s teaching aims to cultivate critical skills for contemporary practice, both technological and interpersonal. She received an AIA/ACSA Practice + Leadership Award in 2016 and an NCARB Award for the Integration of Practice and Education in 2013 for her project Voices from the Field, which uniquely blends instruction in design, materials, methods, and documentation with first-hand observation of construction and professional practice. Brause’s ongoing research adapts this experiential pedagogical model to areas of design decision-making and project delivery.

    Received First Prize in the 2017 Building Technology Educator's Society (BTES) Book Award

    Received Honorable Mention in the Prose Awards


    It takes collaboration to realize truly great projects. Caryn Brause’s new book is an insightful resource to assist architects in collaborating in innovative fashion to create excellent designs. Building on, and advancing the literature, Brause dissects the collaborative process, illuminates the key issues, and demonstrates brilliant and provocative possibilities when collaboration is orchestrated as she describes. The work is a genuine synthesis, and will be a contribution to both practice and academic realms. - Andrew Pressman, FAIA, Architect and author of Designing Relationships

    Caryn Brause’s invaluable Designer’s Field Guide to Collaboration puts to rest the Fountainhead myth of the architect as solo genius, replacing him with the collaborative teams who really design today’s buildings. Her Field Guide describes the increasingly varied options for collaborating, and it offers sound advice on how to do it better. Brause couples the insights of leading researchers and writers with in-depth interviews and case studies. Her lessons for successful collaboration will help everyone from students to experienced practitioners. - Jay Wickersham, FAIA, Esq., Associate Professor of Architecture in Practice, Harvard Graduate School of Design