The dérive continues as a confused, hopeful architecture graduate student takes a one year detour from an M.Arch program to start and finish an MBA. What was the subject of discussion today?
Operations and Process Management.
We looked at Gantt charts, POS, PERT diagrams, and a slew of other methods of project and process management. All of these things are diagrams (and in our textbooks and PPT slides, ugly ones). Since I can’t sit still in class and don’t remember a damn thing when someone lectures at me, I drew in class (and then added a little Photoshop afterwards). What did I take away?
All of the process controls that businesses seem to use (which I remember from my days at PwC) are not at all different than the kinds of processes we go through in studio as architecture students with one major exception: they are exquisitely and precisely bounded, intentionally so, but in my opinion, to a fault. The use of the tools offers a rigorous and necessary framework for planning, executing, and delivering projects. What they don’t allow for is lateral thinking to issues beyond the immediate project.
The phrase “social responsibility” came up for the second time in two weeks. Great! We’re mentioning it. “Social responsibility” was, yet again, not defined in any sort of concrete terms. No so great. “Creativity” came up again. Great! Once again, the same professor that was referred to as the “creative one” was referred to as the “creative one” and a metric or rigorous discussion of creativity escaped (though serious credit is due to the professor who lectured today because he honestly and straightforwardly said that he did not know how to measure creativity or talk about it rigorously and that he did not want to speculate and give an answer that was fluff - kudos).
The question that popped into my head, again, is the following (or a variant of it):
How can we cross-reference the efficiency and performance of MBA candidates with the “creativity” and social-consciousness of designers (and yes, I’m aware of what that specific phrasing implies)?