I have always believed a picture is worth a thousand words. As my passion for photography has grown I have seen how true that really is. A great photographer can capture a complex idea in one image and convey it with powerful and compelling emotion.
I first saw an image of an 8 man scull used to illustrate teamwork in a presentation my firm at the time was making with Shepley Bulfinch, an outstanding architectural practice established in 1874 by Henry Hobson Richardson. We didn’t win the project, but it wasn’t because we did a bad job of communicating. We lost because we couldn’t explain our project organization to the client… probably because we couldn’t explain it to ourselves. For me it was one of those great epiphanies when I realized that trying to sell a concept that doesn’t even make sense to you is impossible, no matter how glib and charming you are. The tragedy is that our friends at Shepley tried to tell us that and we didn’t want to hear it. In other words, we were not rowing in sync with each other and if I’m really honest, the wrong person (me) was calling the stroke.
I love the fact that this more current image is of an 8 woman scull… something that would have been unheard of when I began practicing architecture. The influence of woman in the profession has changed the practice of architecture in a multitude of positive and encouraging ways in a relatively short period of time. We have truly come a long way… in rowing and in architecture.