‘No hand-offs, no fumbles’ is a longstanding office mantra born out of the conditional statement that captures our approach to project management. It is not lost on us that such a statement affirms the common sports bias present in our building, but we digress. Simply put if there is no hand-off (whether it be a football, hot potato, or design project), then the risk of fumbling the object at hand decreases.
Architectural projects inherently require the transfer of information, from the owner to the architect, where it is translated into drawings and contract documents, and on to the contractor for construction. Along the way, the quantity and complexity of the information grow. Each time the ‘ball’ is passed, the opportunity, even certainty of turn-over increases. In many practices, principals procure work, a project architect leads a design team, and production work is passed around to whoever is available; Information, initial design goals, and vision are inevitably lost in the shuffle.
Contrast this workflow with CGD’s preferred principal-led design approach. A staff principal usually paired with a designer see each project from start to finish. The point of contact for the owner remains the same throughout the process and project familiarity is maintained by all involved. We believe this to be advantageous for the owner, the integrity of the design, and our goal of fostering well-rounded designers.