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Architectural Advocacy | Local & Regional

The fourth session of the 2021 ELP class started off with a recap of April’s class centered on the foundations of leadership and the guild hall method. Led by Pete DeLisle PhD, Hon TxA, the class used these concepts as a base for our next topic, the Task versus Relationship paradigm.

With the task/relationship paradigm we were quite literally able to draw the line between the two opposing concepts with vector diagrams. Pete led us in understanding that the ideal situation is to maintain equal balance between the two. Imbalance may result if a there is a strong relationship, but little focus on task resulting in poor work. The opposite is true if a relationship is weak, but there is great emphasis on task. This opposing situation can lead to burnout, team dissatisfaction, and an unhealthy work environment. It is ideal to balance both and strive to produce strong work while maintaining healthy relationships.  The class worked through scenarios of how this paradigm comes into play within a studio realm and identified cases in our own experiences where there have been balance and imbalance.

Progressing from the early morning discussion the class then participated in a fun exercise to explore conflict and conflict management. On the heels of our talks of the importance of relationship the class found ourselves divided into groups to explore negotiating conflict. Using the “Uglie Orange” case study each team was divided to include two opposing purchaser roles, an observer, and a third-party supplier. The team varied in how they negotiated their cases, and the mix of responses and solutions was both hilarious and insightful. Ultimately each group came to consensus and was successful in their negotiating. Pete concluded the entire assignment by leading us back to the root of it all. The task was about the people and one classmate summarized perfectly that it’s “Task first, People Always”.

Following the class discussions and exercises the group broke for lunch and reconvened in the afternoon to touch base and hear from the architectural advocacy panel. The panelist joining us for the may session were David Boeck associate professor OU college of Architecture, Derwin Broughton AIA, NCARB and Samantha Markham, AIA.  Each panelist gave their perspective on advocacy in the profession pulling from their experiences with personal projects and professional endeavors. David shared stories from his work in Africa and with senior housing, Derwin talked about the pandemic highlighting the need and opportunities for advocacy in our local communities, and Samantha shared her passion for educational advocacy with ACE. The panel was fun and lively and was an energizing segue into our class project.

The class’ final agenda item was to share updates on the progress of the class project on Camp Summit. Each team gave a quick update and identified their project and graphic standard liaisons. The class is planning a trip to the site Saturday May 15th to present initial concepts to Camp Summit.

The class concluded with a virtual happy hour and a round of zoom Pictionary. Each participant getting to show off their mouse drawing abilities.