To build a building is a team effort. The role of the architect is comparable to a conductor. He has to supervise different kinds of professions: engineers, workers, artisans, geometrists, constructors….


So, it’s not surprising for me to use a construction contest like the marshmallow challenge to test organization, tasks repartition and coordination between teammates.


The more focused the profession is and the more hierarchical, the more successful the challenge would be. A team with a clear supervision would be more effective than a group of business students, who are distracted quickly.

The most surprising fact was to realize that kindergarten kids were more effective than most of adult contestants. It’s proof (NOT a proof) that we can lose a lot of time and energy by deciding who will become the leader of the group. And more than that, kids have a natural talent to experience new challenges. They are adaptable and resourceful. We should not lose this innocence by growing up.

Sometimes experience also brings fear of failure. Like we can see in the experience, the challenge made with money at stake was a total failure. Child recklessness is free from anxiety.

Lack of knowledge can also count against you. Without knowing, we can be insecure and less effective. Even when we’re established for a long time in an office, we need to educate ourselves constantly regarding news practices, technologies, methods… to not become obsolete/complacent.

I think it’s a lesson for everyone and particularly for designers which have to reinvent every time: giving up is the only way to fail. When we allow ourselves to fail we also allow ourselves to succeed, by not being afraid of the repetition process.

Let’s get creative and fearless team players!!!!

– by Lea, France


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