The very foundation of our studio approach was built on the belief that continual collaboration from everyone on our team fuels creativity and should be embraced at every stage of the process. That said, we don’t lose sight of the individual project architect who is shepherding the process. There’s a fine line between peer critique and design by committee, and we avoid the latter. Input is encouraged from the entire team, placing the focus on the work and ideas, not on any one individual opinion or ego. We foster this spirit of collaboration by empowering everyone in our office—from principals to summer interns—to call a meeting and ask for input from the team on whatever they’re working on.
A few weeks ago, for example, one of our designers was presenting a project to the team at a kernel stage. She wasn't stuck but was looking for ways to improve. After reviewing the plans, someone pointed out that if she shifted her design four feet to the southeast and opened up a corner of the kitchen, the space would better receive morning sun. Just like that, a fresh pair of eyes and a four-foot shift transformed a good idea on paper into a more thoughtful and site-specific design.
This process of fluid feedback is sometimes easier said than done as it requires a great deal of constructive criticism and real-time adaptation. In the same breath, it's this kind of cross-pollinated work that gives everyone an equal opportunity to share ideas and take ownership over each project we take on. Everyone having a say feeds into the excitement, preserves the joy of the work, and gives everyone ownership. We’ve found this approach also fosters growth for our team, both personally and professionally.
Similar to how each one of our clients is unique and results in homes that are unique, our office is made up of unique individuals with diverse backgrounds. Having this kind of team approach serves our clients well by offering them multiple points of view and ideas, and therefore more of an opportunity to meet each client’s own unique and specific needs.
Our philosophy of collectivity extends outside of our firm as well and with the other teams we collaborate with. Englishman Bay’s AIA Award, for example, would not have been possible without our clients’ insightful input, Albert Putnam’s structural engineering, Krista Stokes’s interior furnishings, Atlantic Landscape’s installation, and Nate Holyoke Builders, who literally built the idea into a reality. Each role was crucial and each person brought a unique point of view.
Much like our clients and the projects we take on, our team offers a wide breadth of experience and interests. Through workshopping ideas, being open, and having the flexibility for change, we're able to create the best possible home for each of our clients.