Collaboration and Practice


with Min Kyung Lee

in the edited collection:
All-Inclusive Engagement in Architecture:
Towards a Future of Social Change

Farhana Ferrous
and Bryan Bell

The role of collaboration in architecture has become increasingly visible in the decade following the 2008 financial crisis as long-standing models of work have been revealed to be unsustainable. In Architecture: the story of practice, Dana Cuff describes how architects negotiate the contradictory pulls of professional life and their ambivalent relationship to the diverse collaborative forms that characterize the profession: “There is a general belief, evident among artists, architects, critics, and even scholars, that the quality of a work of art decreases in proportion to the number of people involved in its creation,” and that this certainty insures that the “small office remains the ideal of architectural practice.”[1] This ambivalence towards collaboration can be understood as a trait that manifests itself in attitudes toward the nature of practice and the ways in which collaboration is taught in schools of architecture. The meaning of collaboration in this historical moment—still unwinding the impact of austerity, increasing income inequality, outsourcing and automation—has taken on a political resonance beyond the exigencies of the profession.



[1] Dana Cuff, Architecture: The Story of Practice (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1992), 73.