Wednesday, 30 November 2011

function sadly following form again

Last week I spent time in this international business. The organisation stretches acorss the globe and remains profitable, innovative, ambitious and socially conscious. Hooray.

In its inventory of assets is a R+D facility in the South of England complete with glass reception area and airey atruim, chrome furnishings and air con cafe; you get the picture.

The architects' vision had become a reality. The glass bridge stretching over the halogen lit moat all looked the clever mix of space age and etherial in aesthetic.

I couldn't help think they hadn't explored enough options at the brainstorm and design stages to at least consider what would happen when it rains and how, like so often in the best of designs, the bridge and it's welcome into the levathon might and scale of this huge enterprise was humbled as the heavens opened and rain fell on the campus.

The best the grounds staff could muster was some scratty carpet offf cuts to help prevent anyone slipping over an ending in the pond.

I guess our genius is sometimes misguided. God is in the detail and in the words of the BAUHAUS, put attention into designing what isn't there as much as what will be seen.

A parallel too I thought in designing instruction, workshop and knowledge transfer. If your workshop were a bridge how would it work if it rained? Too literal but I liked the provocation. I also think we should take care to take out more than we put in when designing our interventions.


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