The latest journal print edition of DesignIntelligence includes our survey on collaboration. It shipped from Atlanta this month with new information on organizational collaboration models and strategies (HOK, SOM, Walter P. Moore, Shepley Bulfinch, Steelcase, Beck, HKS, Durrant, and more), plus an article from former Latrobe Fellow, John Eberhard, regarding his new research on architecture and the brain. Also in the issue is a new chart based on Design Futures Council research that shows steady value migration and professional practice shifts in the design and construction fields.

The following collaboration shifts are discussed:

From:

  • Centralized control
  • Anecdotal design star
  • Stable design profession
  • Linear processes
  • Design for average clients
  • Traditional mentoring

To:

  • Hybrid collaboration networks
  • Integrated delivery teams
  • Dynamic entrepreneurial professions
  • Simultaneous and overlapping process
  • Design with expert clients
  • Co-mentoring between generations

Over the past several years, it has become clear that architects and their practices are growing services through value appropriation using alliances and new integration models. The knowledge economy is stressing innovation, too, which is unlikely to be implemented without a culture of collaboration. Working styles of generations are also a factor with the new “generation Y” leading the way using reverse mentoring or co-mentoring. For the first time in the design professions history there is large scale upstream mentoring by twenty and thirty year old professionals who are “mentoring their mentors.”

A culture of collaboration is more likely to happen in a workplace environment that is more informal and where there are shared social activities, communities of practice, or social enterprise structures.

Professional practices are becoming more complex and new collaborative forms and co-operative cultures are emerging to build value delivered to clients. It is one of the most pressing issues for leaders in professional practice and one of the most exciting areas of best practice development.

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