Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies

Collaborations: MFA CD Blog

Field Trip: THE NEST

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An essential dimension of the Collaborative Design program is, well, collaboration. Some have the sense that collaboration as easy, elementary if you will. This has not, however, been the experience of the MFA students inhabiting the first semester of this new program. Teams have been used in several design labs and classes. So, forming, storming, norming and performing is the reality, but who would have thought the distance between each level of team development would be like crossing the Grand Canyon? Many ways to cross and none easy, just ask Evel Knievel.

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One team decided they needed time in the woods, being together, making their collective way to a destination. In this case, The Nest, a little tree house nestled on the gentle base slopes of Mt. Hood, made for an agreeable goal of interest to all. This “time in the woods,” is one of many techniques that can help a team come together.

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Team members need trust, respect and experience with each other. From primitive tribes to University board rooms, teams have built all we know as the human environment, and will continue to build the future. Collaborating with people who think differently, have strong opinions, different mannerisms, different talents, and different values is essential for nearly all successful endeavors, including creating a smoothly working democratic society.

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Text by mentor Don Harker
Photos by Laura DeVito ’13

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