Learning through collaboration
I found this quote from Bruce Mau's book, Life Style, over at the Central blog. I thought I'd repeat it here, both for its own value, and for the reflective thinking at Central as well. I had mentioned in an earlier post my sense that some terms, like "collaboration," become so vogue that they lose value. These concepts become popularized, then commonly used, attain a certain cladding of frequently faulty application, become corrupted by overuse in inappropriate contexts, and then collapse as a value.
I think, however, that concepts like this can become re-energized and attain new value by this sense of Mau's – that collaboration is an opportunity for learning. Bound in this is the sense that each of us – our clients, our consultants, our team members and ourselves – come to the project with the generosity of openness, to be open to what others have to offer and from which we might learn, as well as to fulfill the expectation and responsibility that we, too, bring something new to the others' perceptions, experience and learning.
To understand the studio, you must understand the way we have defined collaboration. A collaborator comes to the studio with an undefined relationship to the proposed work. They approach with an understanding that anything is possible. They arrive prepared to ignore the limits, engage content, and develop something new. They may have expectations, even quite specific ones, but within those expectations or desires, there is space for invention. We, on the other hand, enter an open space of learning. It is an enviable position. At the best of times we have been students with the world's greatest teachers.