On Collaboration

I went to an artist talk last night that reinforced my ideas about collaboration. He said that if you put a professional engineer and artist in the same room to solve a problem the outcome won’t be the same as having an artist with a pretty good knowledge of engineering figure it out herself.

 Two heads might not be better than one.

Two heads might not be better than one.

Each time I have been involved in a team approach to a design solution I am energized by the discussions, motivated by the goal and hopeful about the outcome. Yet, there are challenges. Every step along the way brings a set of compromises and a new way of looking at those goals and outcomes. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

What have I learned? I prefer doing it all myself.

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I can take the blame, find the alternatives and be responsible for the outcome. I can throw it under the table when it doesn’t work out. I can meet my own timetable. I can re-evaluate without stepping on toes. Not so easy when others are involved.

But this process of locking my doors to others is self-limiting. Pushing away my expectations while entertaining alternative ideas broadens my vision of the end product.

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So I will continue to find ways to play well with others. And collaborate. In events, in art, in thought. Even if it makes my nerves nervier.