CRF Blog

The Risk of Being Too Nice

by Marianna Muratova

In The Risk of Being Too Nice, the New York Review of Books discusses Snøhetta, a successful Norwegian architectural firm that is revolutionizing architectural company organization by using a non-hierarchical cooperative approach. The new, more democratic workplace is important as the teams grow to include unconventional professionals.

Thus an architectural team today comprises not only the long-familiar roster of structural engineers, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) specialists, acousticians, interior designers, lighting engineers, and landscape architects, but also computer software engineers, environmental impact managers, and (for certain public buildings) security analysts and anti-terrorism consultants, positions that did not exist a generation ago. One leading New York architectural headhunter reports an even wider array of new job descriptions, including sustainability director, virtual design coordinator, and digital librarian.

Instead, this far more informal group aims to give quite the opposite impression, that of mutually supportive friends who have banded together to come up with ingenious ideas that will make life better for everyone, primarily but not exclusively their sponsors. It is an uplifting ethos that a younger generation of enlightened clients has found irresistible. [more]