By: Josh West
One of the most difficult things a lot of people have during their time in Architecture school is trying to design with a group. Getting randomly picked to be paired with others you do not know much about. Communication within the group is low and the overall picture of coming up with a design scheme that works for your project and for the entire group to agree on the entire situation is difficult. Sometimes groups work good together and the entire design process goes smoothly; while some fall quickly. I know from experience that when you are put into situations like this, the first overall objective is to understand the group you are working with. They may not be your friends, but we are all in this together and have one goal in mind; to have a good design….well to also get a good grade as well. One of the biggest things that has helped me, is to understand what the other group members like to do. What do they like to design? Do they prefer sketching or doing completely all of their work on the computer? Do you like designing high rise buildings or low income housing? Understanding what they like to design and how they do it can extremely help in the long run with completing the overall design.
Another thing that has helped me within the past, is to keep your group members motivated! With working long hours, day in and day out, some people lose motivation and overall work ethic on some projects. This ends up to be and incomplete project that doesn’t help the group out at all. It is always important to talk within your group and see how everyone is moving along. Communication is key within any project. By checking up with your group members, you can either help them move along and help them off their working plateau or get something fixed within their design to help the overall master plan.
The last method that will work and I have used this semester is to just let your group work. Leave everyone along, come up with some designs and then re-group as a team and see what everyone has come up with. Sometimes doing this, your entire group can brainstorm on a couple of schemes and in the end, create a good design. This has helped me and my group this semester as we are still finalizing components to our master plan. By using these methods when working with a group on a project, it will just help that much more when completing your entire project.