Cal Poly Lecture | Citizen Design
Citizen Design Collaborative Partners Isaac Greenetz, Bryan Ridley, and Jacob Young had the opportunity to engage College of Architecture and Environmental Design students at California Polytechnic State University. Professor Greg Wynn’s senior class was invited to participate in a Q&A session about the concept of Design|Build, its challenges and advantages, and how Collaborative operates.
Q: What is a Design|Build?
A: A Design|Build company is a firm that operates in the built environment utilizing a combined project delivery system. This method delivers a project in which the planning, design, and construction services are contracted by a single entity. This approach can often be more cost-efficient than traditional design-bid-build approaches.
Q: What differentiates Collaborative Companies from the typical Design|Build company?
A: Our versatility. Collaborative is unique because we have the capacity to operate as different, individual entities. Our Design|Build services are actually comprised of two separate “sister” companies, Citizen Design Collaborative and Valor Builds Collaborative. Citizen often works with other builders while Valor constructs for other architects/designers. Collaborative’s ability to perform a wide range of projects whether design only, build only, or both, has led to our qualified experience, expertise, and project versatility in the industry.
Q: How does money and time affect the sensitivity to design?
A: Affordability can be difficult when it comes to quality design. The ultra rich can afford the increased costs associated with custom design. However, people with a tighter budget drives the design team’s creativity with off-the-shelf solutions. The same goes for strict project schedules. When schedules are compressed design considerations are affected. As designers, it is our responsibility to provide the best possible solution with the amount of time available.
“The core benefit of a Design|Build is that there is 100% accountability between architecture and construction.” – Jacob Young, Partner
Key Takeaways: One of the greatest benefits from an expertise perspective is that builders become more sensitive to design by working closely with project architects. The ability to walk across the room and communicate instantaneously with the project architect is invaluable when transferring technical expertise. Understanding the underlying design intentions and their effects on a space are important considerations during construction.
As a builder, it provides a lot of value to the client when these considerations are deliberate and collaborative with the architect.
Architects develop a better understanding of how to design for constructability when they are involved throughout construction. Innovative design solutions occur when architects are able to maintain design intentions while considering how the project goes together. Functionality can often be a beautiful design feature that doesn’t break the project budget.