Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Frank Gehry on projects

I love architecture, though I'm not an architect, and never studied architecture. Of course, I love system architecture, which is both different from building and construction per se, and identical because a building is a system just as any other such integrated structure is a system.


Frank Gehry is one of Canada-America's more esteemed architects.  He does projects around the world.  The picture is of the museum in Bilbao, Spain.  Of course, Gehry always designs some pretty unusual stuff, but in an interesting interview on cnn.com/gps for September 4, 2011, he says about his projects:
  • He's very thorough with the envisioning and conceptualization, often building 100 models before he 'sees' it.  (Spiral, anyone?)
  • Everything he does has customer buy-in, and in the end, the customer never regrets (Sounds like an embedded agile customer)
  • The building has to work functionally (wow! it has to work.  Have the ERP guys heard that one?)
  • You have to be able to actually build it, meaning it has to be technologically feasible and feasibly economical (perhaps we should revisit the Sydney opera house--not a Gehry design), and
  • It has to meet a budget! (Back to PM 101, and the consequences of "other people's money")
Actually, on these last two points, another flamboyant architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, never actually got it.  Many of his buildings didn't work (roofs and windows leaked, for one thing), and he rarely (some say never) met a budget.  And he didn't miss closely, he missed by a mile!

Some of these problems are like any 'new to the world' endeavor: stuff happens!  But some is just downright delusional or deliberately deceptive.  Some advice just never gets old: Buyer beware!
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