Exchange also happens in terms of Makers on the ground. “I thought it was great how as a new starter I was able to work in the Hong Kong office for six weeks before coming to London, where I work now,” says Samantha Lee. “It was a mostly seamless transition, and I found it useful to see how different members of the three studios can float around easily.”
Streamlined systems are key. Kyly Bird, who recently oversaw the introduction of our new intranet from London, notes the importance of a democratic approach in developing practice-wide resources. “We involved all three studios in the workshop and review process to make sure the new intranet is inclusive and reflects our international business. The aim has been to streamline news and knowledge sharing across the practice and create a tool where everyone has easy access to the documents and information they need.”
For Nicolas Villegas Giorgi, also based in London, the biggest benefit of the One Make ethos is its effect on day-to-day working practices. “It’s about unity and incentivising the development of collective skills. Everybody is wholly engaged in their projects. Rather than competing against each other, we promote collaboration. Your advancement hinges on the work itself and your capacity to communicate, both by listening and by making yourself heard.”
This, he says, has a big impact on the designs we create. “Because everyone’s opinions are valued, design decisions are made through dialogue, not imposition. Makers quickly replace the fear of a title with respect for experience. You can see this reflected in the attitude and capability of our Part Ones. They aren’t made to blindly follow directions. They know why every design decision is made, because they’re part of that process.”
All in all, a unified approach ensures we’re working in step with not just each other but our clients too. As our founder Ken Shuttleworth notes: “Clients who choose Make get a 24-hour studio with expert resources around the world. By staffing projects according to people’s skills, not where they’re based, we can bring efficiency to projects as well as a rich diversity of backgrounds and experiences. One Make is all about amplifying our Makers’ talents and delivering the best architecture possible.”
Article extracted from Make Annual 16.