Of Collaboration, Deliberation & Axe Throwing


ABC/AIA panel meet to discuss ‘Navigating Budgets & Owner Expectations’

The always interesting dynamic between architects and contractors must be improving, at least in the Baltimore region. How else would you explain having a panel discussion between AIA and ABC members followed by axe throwing? The trust level must be at an all-time high!

Earlier this month, a panel of architects and general contractors met to talk, share and deliberate the various challenges the two professions face every day in navigating budgets and owner expectations.

The axe throwing part came into play immediately following the panel, as attendees walked over to Urban Axes where they partook of refreshments and received a primer in axe throwing.

The panel was facilitated by co-chairs of the ABC/AIA Contractors-Architect Roundtable, Tyler Tate, with Lewis Contractors and Sharon Day, with GWWO Architects. The panelists were Joel Fidler, with Ayers Saint Gross; Paul Hume, with GWWO Architects; Joe Rode with Mullan Contracting and Ken Wingate with North Point Builders.

The hour-long discussion covered a wide range of issues that included best practices and how to balance self-interests all the while staying focused on the bigger picture. 

“The industry has changed,” said Ken Wingate. “You can work for me and I can work for you. You could be calling the shots in one instance or on the other side of the table being interviewed by those same individuals. We really stress to our people to do what is right. You don’t always have to agree but have the reputation as doing the right thing.”

Paul Hume stressed the need to put yourself in the other person’s shoes” “Best way to have understanding is to have open communication. Talk to each other! If you can gain a better understanding of where the other person is coming from, it will be easier to have resolution.

In addition to the architects and contractors who attended the panel discussion, a group of architectural students from Morgan State was also in the audience. In speaking to those students as well as those studying engineering and construction management, Tyler Tate stressed the need to get importance of professional registrations or accreditation accredited in each particular field as a graduate is eligible. “Even if you don’t plan to go solely into design,” he said. “A professional registration can add value and perspective to your daily work and advance your career.”