Page C1.1 . 25 April 2012                     
ArchitectureWeek - Culture Department
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Design with Enterprise

by James P. Cramer

I wasn't always fascinated with architecture and design. I'm not an architect, but I have come to realize how important good design is as an ingredient to better human health and well-being. And how important business skills are to successful practice.

Design is not as well understood as we would like it to be. It's quite common to encounter people who say that design is a waste of time and money. Nevertheless, with each passing month, it becomes more apparent to me that good design is not only advisable but crucial to both competitive advantage and a better quality of life. Good design is a key to ensuring economic viability and business leadership. Indeed, good design is good business.

Design, however, needs more advocates. More soul mates. More sellers and persuaders. Good design needs leaders who are positioned to be listened to and who can deliver the message with clarity and conviction.

In a presentation of the Presidential Design Awards, eight benefits of good design were offered:

  • Good design can improve the quality of our lives.

  • Good design can enhance American competitiveness.

  • Good design can save time and money.

  • Good design can improve performance.

  • Good design can simplify use, manufacture, and maintenance.

  • Good design can improve safety.

  • Good design can enhance communications.

  • Good design can preserve historic and natural resources.

I come from experiences where I see good design not as a luxury but as a necessity. However, the delivery systems for good design are currently far too weak. There is much to be done.

My research has led me to a new understanding not only about the importance of good design but about the positioning and principles necessary for success. For I believe there is a map of expanding opportunity for architects and new competitive advantages through design.   >>>

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This article is excerpted from Design Plus Enterprise: Seeking a New Reality in Architecture & Design by James P. Cramer, copyright © 2002, with permission of the publisher, Greenway Group.

ArchWeek Image

Perkins + Will adapted the existing office building at 1315 Peachtree Street to house its Atlanta offices, creating indoor and outdoor meeting spaces on the upper floor.
Photo: Michelle Litvin Extra Large Image

ArchWeek Image

The new Atlanta, Georgia, offices of Perkins + Will, include a variety of work spaces to support both individual and collaborative work. The LEED Platinum-certified building was recently named one of the AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects for 2012.
Photo: Michelle Litvin Extra Large Image


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