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ArchitectsPortraits of a Practice$
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Thomas Yarrow

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781501738494

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501738494.001.0001

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Problem Solving

Problem Solving

(p.189) Problem Solving

Thomas Yarrow

Cornell University Press

In the office, Tomas and Megan sit paging through sheets of detailed computer-generated plans, neatly and precisely laid out. “Like an instruction manual for the building,” Tomas remarks; “in theory, this is all the builders should need.” These documents will form the basis on which contractors will tender, and will later form the basis of the contract that is drawn up between client and builder. Megan became a fully qualified architect last year and is, by her own admission, still relatively inexperienced at this stage of the design. Their discussion focuses on the apparently minor details that can cause the kinds of ambiguity that lead to problems on-site. Tomas has acquired an eye for these troublesome details through over a decade in practice, often learning the hard way. He points out possible problems that need more work to resolve and clarify. Other details will remain unresolved and will need to stay that way. “They’ll make that bit up on-site,” Tomas explains to Megan. Pointing to a junction where various materials intersect, he highlights the need to be clear about this: “You need to TBC it,” he cautions her....

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