The September meeting of the Design Futures Council Board Think Tank in Dallas offered both practical and inspirational lessons for leaders and their constituents in architecture, engineering, interior design, and education.

The September meeting of the Design Futures Council Board Think Tank in Dallas offered both practical and inspirational lessons for leaders and their constituents in architecture, engineering, interior design, and education. The emphasis was on breakthrough thinking in business strategy concepts to generate different perspectives and increased creativity in planning for the future. In addition, Chris Leubkeman of the Arup Partnership shared a new presentation called: “What’s Now, New, and Next,” which provided a springboard for making sense of the complex and shifting business landscape for architects, designers, and real estate professionals. The sources of professional practice growth and profits are shifting. Architects no longer compete exclusively with architects, as clients view them as a portfolio of design and real estate solutions. The think tank explored how to foresee future sources of value and turn ideas into new realities. We identified patterns and tactics that can move design organizations forward during times of change. Leadership futures including “leading oneself” became a round table discussion to be revisited in 2004. The agenda included:

  • Preview of the Nasher Museum designed by Renzo Piano with support architecture and construction by BECK

  • Awarding Senior Fellowships to Ray Anderson and Phil Bernstein (held at the Dallas Museum of Art)

  • Business Model Case Studies of Beck Group (Dallas) and Arup Partnership (London)

  • Leadership Challenges in Professional Practice

  • The Beck Imaginarium and a test of the new Segway technology

  • Open discussion of current trends and issues in design, engineering, construction, and real estate development

The DFC Board meets twice annually. DFC Research participants in this session included: Steve Fiskum of HGA, Peter Beck of Beck, Phil Bernstein of AutoDesk, Friedl Bohm of NBBJ, Jim Cramer of Greenway Consulting, Phil Enquist of SOM, Rod Kruse of Herbert Lewis Kruse Blunck, Ray Messer of Walter P. Moore, Gordy Mills of Durrant, Jack Tannis of Steelcase, Arol Wolford of ROI, Inc., Chris Leubkeman of ARUP, Ray Anderson of Interface Americas, and others.

Past sessions have been held at the Salk Institute, Georgia Institute of Technology, AutoDesk’s campus in San Rafael, IDEO Headquarters in Palo Alto, The Smithsonian Institution, CNA Headquarters in Chicago, and the U.S. Embassy in Copenhagen.