One of the brightest person’s I ever knew, once said that chess was a five hour problem, but bridge–which he was a master in–‘was a series of five minute problems’. Therein is the hint of our subject today.
Before the era of PC’s, massive parallel computing, or even the Cloud, designing a car then rolling it into production, used to take FIVE years. Think clay, and balsa and mock ups. Then it was speed up to three years, then two.
When Gillette decides to do a razor, they might design, prototype, mock up, trial produce, and manufacture in a series of months for some steps, days for others. Then if they like the product, they can roll it out, and replicate it in the millions. Tens of millions even, if it is proven.
Architects have no such luxury. You cannot stand in your prototype, so that for US architects, the process is the product. We cannot mass produce. There is if ever or but rarely, a trial run. So our product IS the process. We refine our methodological process, not the product. Architecture, by the way, is probably more like a three year problem, from feasibility, conceptualization, design, design development, production, bidding, construction, close out, then occupancy.