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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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Rhythms of Work

Rhythms of Work

Chapter:
(p.221) Rhythms of Work
Source:
Architects
Author(s):

Thomas Yarrow

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501738494.003.0049

During one of our discussions Tomas reflects on the problems of setting a collective pace for their work, contrasting the activities in the office with those of a more obviously manual character.: “In the office I find people are going at their own paces, whereas on a building site, if one of you is fitting a set of cabinets and the other’s fitting a bench seat, at lunch time, when you look at each other’s work, it’s really obvious how far along you’ve got with it.” Seated at computers, the processes and products of the working life of a designer lack these obvious qualities of visibility. Consequently, the pace and tempo of these tasks can be difficult for others to discern. Designs are tucked away in digital folders, or glimpsed only in the fleeting movements and partial perspectives of the flickering screens of others. Watch what they do and it is equally difficult to tell anything about the pace of their work: mouse clicks; eyes absorbed; bodily movements are minimal. In any case, there is little if any visible relationship between the speed at which the task is performed and the rate at which the design progresses....

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