The Super-Powers of The Creative Trifecta

In this frantically paced tale, Value Engineering attacks the Project, while The Designer is lured into the hands of the villainous Developer. It’s the World’s Most Challenging Site vs. The Creative Trifecta – and only one solution can win!

I always get a chuckle when I tell the story about starting at The Big Firm and they had a hard time “placing me.” I would introduce myself to seasoned employees and the second* question they would ask me was “So what are you, a designer or a technical architect?”
And I would always stumble answering the question. “Why couldn’t I be both?”
“Both? There is actually three, but you are too young to be a project manager.”

After further questioning I learned that this international machine of an architecture firm was founded by three architects. Each possessed a particular strength that when their powers combined their Architectural Might was (and still is) unstoppable. What powers were they do you ask?  These powers can be found in each of us but each creative type leans more to one power than the other two.

The Designer – The creative-creative. This super architect strength leads one to draw or model constantly. Some have so much design energy they enter competitions in their free time in order to rid the world of ugly! Their coffee table has not only architecture, but interior, graphic and landscape design magazines too.

The Technician – The engineering-creative. This super architect power makes the designs work. Their free time is spent on fixing and improving other projects such as home appliances. Their extra-large desk includes every resource one would ever need to make a building from Graphic Standards, to the Steel Manual, to the Indiana Limestone Institute Handbook.

The Manager – The organized-creative. The super architect power to keep order and deadlines. These tortured souls have their calendar always on, their desktop organized, and they run on “what’s next?” They are usually gifted with the bonus power of communication and often acts as translator between the team and the outside world. Their library includes books on project efficiency, team dynamics and communication styles. Manager’s personal life runs like clockwork and hates it (but understands) when Designer and Technician are late for happy hour.

In all seriousness, take a moment to think about the leading team in your firm or past firms?
-Who’s in every design meeting?
-Who’s approachable about drawing details?
-Who’s making sure protocol and deadlines are kept?

At first I thought one could choose which superpower they could possess. But after working for a few years, I’m not so sure now. These powers seem to come from an architect’s personality and disposition. And like most superpowers, they aren’t fully formed until one “grows-up”.
I have also observed those adventurous firm leaders who try to have two or all three of these powers and run their firm efficiently, but alas, double or triple powers seems too much for us mere mortal architects.

Do you find this true in your firm?
If so, what are you?


*The first question they would ask me at The Big Firm was: “Are you in Interiors?” (Interior Design) –Right, because a stylish woman couldn’t possibly be an Architect.

Still waiting. I called NCARB after the first week and the guy on the other end told me I could send my initial registration to Colorado though I started the process in Missouri. After weeks with no word from Colorado, I went online and discovered they don’t recognize the ARE testing of those who started in other states. So I’m back to square one of getting approved by Missouri then transferring to Colorado. And in the process I’m practicing my power of patience.

5 thoughts on “The Super-Powers of The Creative Trifecta

  1. Meg, so true! I can definitely spot each of the 3 “types” in my firm. I fit more into the “The Manager, organized-creative” and I think you are right on that it comes from our personalities. I would love to be a creative-creative designer, but in the 5 years since architecture school I have found that my strengths lie elsewhere.

    Good luck with the licensing process!

    • Thanks Shannon! The beauty of it is that those Designers NEED the Technicians and Managers, otherwise not much building would manifest off of the paper or out of the computer. Hope all is well in Montana!

  2. Meg, love the post! Guess I have one question: What if someone doesn’t fit any of those types, are they doomed to failure, obscurity, and food service?

    (Note: I love and respect the industry of food service; no insult intended.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s