By: Hunter Wilson
I am Hunter Wilson, a student currently studying in the Southern Illinois University Masters of Architecture program. I began my education at Vincennes University located in my hometown of Vincennes, Indiana. After receiving an Associate’s Degree in Architectural studies, I transferred to SIU where I earned a Bachelor’s Degree and still study today.
The design process that will be discussed is the Architectural Training at the U.S. Department of State: A Design Charrette Tackles National Security Issues. This particular case study will look at how this architect used certain leadership characteristics to provide a special design solution.
Out of the ten leadership characteristics discussed in the book, Leadership by Design, this design process sought to use the characteristic associated with lessons of the past which are used to provide a better future. Part of the design process was to look at the presidency of Howard Taft in 1909. Taft’s consultants brought in an architectural firm to overhaul the Treasury Dept. After a thorough efficiency study, the architecture firm was able to improve effectiveness without even the design of any sort of built structure; only building process study.
This approach can also be linked to one of the Four Building Blocks which is Creating New Value. Creating New Value deals with creative inventive solutions. Looking through the lens of building processes rather than space planning is a creative solution. It is also mentioned that these solutions can be created for, and are essential to, survival. By dealing with a national security issue, the firm used an inventive solution to improve the possibility for survival.
Another characteristic is the persuasion to convince. It is implied that the organizer encouraged a design charrette which is largely unconventional. The client then accepted the unconventional solution possibly after some persuasion.
Furthermore, the characteristic of commitment to serve needs was displayed. The organizer, rather than seeking a solution themselves, presented to idea to gather a wide variety of professionals to come up with a solution together. The organizer felt to get the best possible solution, many creative minds must team up.
The final result brought about Order of Chaos. It can be assumed that keeping embassies, that are scattered throughout the world, highly organized is quite a challenge. Through research and extensive building process rearrangement, the final solution proved to be a success, creating order out of chaos.