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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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Formality and Informality

Formality and Informality

(p.196) Formality and Informality

Thomas Yarrow

Cornell University Press

In different ways, builders and architects encounter the space between a plan and a physical building as a series of problems and issues. It is possible to resolve these through more or less formal ways of working.

The history of MHW is, in general terms, one of increasing formalization. As the scope and scale of the practice’s projects have expanded, so have the budgets, the number of people involved, and the associated risks. With more to go wrong, contracts provide a way of managing risk. In the practice, architects describe what is gained by working with a contract: greater certainty that the building will be constructed as designed; an ability to control costs; and clarity about the roles of the different people involved in a project—who will do what, when, and how. They are also aware of what can be lost by working in this way....

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