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Concept Workshop Bonanza

For the Mosaic Centre, I brought together a group of colleagues to brainstorm initial concepts. I was reading the book Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate, and Compete in the Knowledge Economy, by Amy C. Edmondson, and wanted to try a different approach. We chose to explore a greater number of ideas, while dismissing the unworkable ones faster.

Our meeting with Dennis & Christy was the day after the Sustainable Building Symposium, and Dennis had mentioned that I looked a little worried—or was it nervous?

We had a number of ideas on yellow trace paper, but nothing concrete. It was the first time I had presented ideas so “early-stage” to a client.

We had ideas like a spiraling ramp that we called the “Vertical Square” that explored replacing stairs through internal landscaping. Another concept used aerial photos of our “constructed” Cartesian prairie landscape to show how the natural interrupted the orderly grid.

We didn’t have any set plans, elevations or any firm idea what the building would look like so, when Dennis and Christy came by for a review, I wasn’t surprised they needed a day to think before they could come back and give us a bit more direction.

They showed us images from their Pinterest page of what they liked and what intrigued them. We talked a bit about duality, the sacred geometry of the seed of life, and the masculine and feminine.

What architects hate is using a literal translation of ideas into building form—well, most architects like to avoid that anyway. So, again we took our better-formed ideas and sketched, modeled, and tested all sorts of crazy things, over and over again.

Website: EcoAmmo

Shafraaz Kaba, Architect, Manasc Isaac Architects

Fueled by a desire to create a more sustainable, beautiful world, Shafraaz is committed to combining 15 years’ experience in the design and construction of green buildings in cold climates with an eagerness to collaborate, in order to challenge traditional approaches in architecture, design and construction.

Since childhood, Shafraaz always set his sights high and not surprisingly wanted to be either an astronaut, an architect or a fighter pilot. Given his track record for achieving things quickly, the sky’s definitely not the limit for Shafraaz!

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