Message - Re: Is good design a result of team effort or individual genius?

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Posted by  Jim on August 15, 2003 at 09:49:38:

In Reply to:  Is good design a result of team effort or individual genius? posted by Riette Basson on August 15, 2003 at 00:58:39:

There is a saying: "A giraffe is a camel designed by a committee." This, of course, means that artistry is NOT a community event, but the fruitage of one person's efforts. Anyone who has sat on any committees knows that they do not produce much compared to the efforts put forth by the individuals. Inveitably, there will be disagreements on many factors of a design, and eventually someone will dominate the proceeding and get their way in most of the design -- but not all of it, and that is what eliminates the potential for artistic achievement. There are educators and corporate types that would like one to believe that artistry can be achieved by committee action, since they stand to profit from the design checking for errors that committees can do, but the result always suffers for lack of a single vision, and thus degenerates into mediocrity. Further, in today's world of technical buildings, artistry is often not even a real consideration, and so the corporate builders or design selectors are content to accept mediocrity since they know and care nothing for beauty; they are only interested in a structure that will meet their technical requirements and come within budget. True, there are "image" buildings built for big money, but these are always the result of a single man's vision, not the result of a committee, though a group would have to review the plans for budgetary and technical reasons. Also, modern architectural FIRMS (partnerships, companies) exist as much as possible for the BIG jobs that bring lots of money, and these are often so complicated as to technical requirements, that artistry simply takes a 'back seat' automatically as dozens of viewpoints representing many needs drown out the vision of artistry that should prevail. The glass box, for example, was never intended to be beautiful, but was to make the most profitable use of space for the greatest number of people. The day of the architect as artist is largely eclipsed by the architect as engineer and financial advisor. Over such things, committees dominate.

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