Organizational Design for Architecture ::

Organizational Design per l’Architettura :: VB

Organizational Design per l’Architettura :: VB

Organizational Design involves the creation of roles, processes and structures to ensure that the organization’s goals can be realized.
— Nicolay Worren, Associate Professor in Leadership & Organization at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences

I have always seen the architect as a film-maker who directs various disciplines, experiments, researches, and not least collaborators, in order to realize his own narrative and tell a unique story. This process, for me choral and collaborative, involves the development of various skills and continuous learning. Planning means defining objectives, identifying strategies for achieving them, effectively communicating ideas, developing models and testing them in a continuous improvement process.

I find it ironic that our passion for design is not usually used to design the architectural practice's work system. In my experience as an architect, the work process itself is often left undefined, accessory, confused, resulting in an excessive waste of energy and time, and therefore of human and economic resources. The profitability of the architectural firm is closely linked to the efficiency of its work system, its structure and culture.

Organizational Design aims to improve the work efficiency of the company, through the detailed analysis of the current work system, the identification of its critical points, and the definition of objectives and tailored strategies that can guide the change of the system itself. In an industry such as architecture, where organization is often understood as an antithesis of creativity, the design of systems and work structures is very delicate, and requires a deep knowledge of the dynamics at its base.

Who I am ::

A nomad at heart and an architect by choice. Starting from Rome, my hometown, I lived and worked in various cities in Italy - Venice, Bologna, Genoa - and in Europe - Rotterdam, Paris, Amsterdam - up to Lisbon, where I live since 2015.

Architecture gave me the opportunity to travel and to compare myself with different environments, fueling my curiosity and challenging my flexibility. In my twenty-year career I have worked in studios of various sizes, from 2 people to 200, in projects of various types and scale, and in different cultural environments. These experiences have allowed me to experiment and analyze the dynamics and problems of the architectural firm at different levels and in different conditions. My passion for the architectural process in itself, in the dynamic between creativity and organization, has led me over the years to develop a specific knowledge of tools and strategies aimed at improving the process itself.

As a consultant in Organizational Design, I offer my experience as a Senior Architect and, above all, as an organization freak, to help my colleagues optimize their work processes so as to achieve greater efficiency for the benefit of the creative activity.

Exhibition Diagram for UNStudio Nature :: UNStudio at MAXXI, Rome

Exhibition Diagram for UNStudio Nature :: UNStudio at MAXXI, Rome

What I do ::

I offer my experience as Organization Design Consultant to support Architects in a wide range of tasks, independent or combined, long term or short term, where competence and insight are required, but for a limited time and investment.

:: Workflow Analysis > Analysis of the actual work system and structure

:: Organizational Design > Definitions of objectives and strategies for improving the workflow

:: Digital Architecture > Server and database organization

:: Office Manual > Writing and Editing of the Office's Manual and Procedures 

:: Standard > Composing and Editing of the Office's Standards and Templates 

:: CAD Support > Analysis of the CAD workflow, Office's CAD Template 

:: Work Efficiency > Work sessions with the Team to improve its work's efficiency

:: Workshop > Organization of Workshops with the Team on specific issues

:: Team Coordination > Team Organization and Coordination for specific projects

:: Tailored services for improving workflow efficiency

My name is Wolfe.
I solve problems.
— Harvey Keitel, Pulp Fiction
Tipologies Diagram for De Sluishuis :: de Cie., Amsterdam

Tipologies Diagram for De Sluishuis :: de Cie., Amsterdam

Architecture ::

:: Consultant in Organization Design for Architecture since 2016

:: UNStudio, Amsterdam 2008-2014 - Senior Architect and Project Leader

:: Philippe Starck, Paris 2007 - Architect

:: DAA, Roma 2004-2006 - Senior Architect

:: MCA, Bologna 2004 - Architect

:: OBR, Genova 2003 / 2006 - Architect, Project Leader and Office Manager

:: de Cie., Amsterdam 2001-2003 - Architect

:: KCAP, Rotterdam 2000 - Architect

:: Diploma of Architecture, IUAV, Venice 1999

UNStudio :: Galleria Cheonan, Seoul, 2010

UNStudio :: Galleria Cheonan, Seoul, 2010

Philippe Starck :: Alhóndiga, Bilbao, 2007

Philippe Starck :: Alhóndiga, Bilbao, 2007

UNStudio :: Ponte Parodi, Genova, 2008

UNStudio :: Ponte Parodi, Genova, 2008

UNStudio :: Wuhan Shopping Mall, Wuhan, 2014

UNStudio :: Wuhan Shopping Mall, Wuhan, 2014

UNStudio :: Nature Matters at MAXXI, Roma, 2014

UNStudio :: Nature Matters at MAXXI, Roma, 2014

OBR :: Polo Intermodale, Trieste 2003

OBR :: Polo Intermodale, Trieste 2003

Dizem sobre mim ::

Arch.Cristiana Cutrona

Founder and Director at ReValue

"Veronica was responsible for the preparation of our standard procedures from the beginning of ReValue in 2007, drawing up a truly effective corpus of manuals for the use of our team. In 2016 we started with her a full revision of the manuals and the design standards to adapt them to the most modern methodologies, with great satisfaction of the ReValue team. Veronica was able to interpret the specificity of our approach to the project and translate it into collaboration and sharing tools, essential for the management of the architectural design."

Arch.Astrid Piber

Partner UNStudio

"As Senior Architect she was able to oversee a full project phase and coordinate internally as well as with external disciplines all related design issues. Her strong responsibility in relation to her open attitude meant that she could be flexible but still control key design elements within the projects."

Why I do it ::

In my first week as trainee in Rotterdam, my first job after graduation, I had an enlightening experience.

I would usually stay later in the office to work, because... well, because I’m Italian and this is what we learn: you have to work more, work later, show your dedication. The young Dutch architect that I was working with had been Erasmus in Spain, he understood the different mindset I had, but there, in the Netherlands, it’s different. He said: “If you work more, longer hours, it’s not good, it’s not a sign of dedication, it’s a sign that you are not good enough in organizing your work in the 8 hours you are given. And therefore you’re a liability and most probably you will not keep the job.”

I’ve been working almost 10 years in the Netherlands, and between the many great experiences I had, this is the teaching I treasure the most: Creativity and Organization can coexist. This is the only way to make a project sustainable, for the practice and for the individual.

As architects, we know far too well the sleepless nights, the loooong weekends, the meetings at 7pm to get the presentation ready for the morning after, the jam at the plotter that just doesn’t want to plot at the right scale, the treasure hunt for that file that was just in that folder but somehow we can’t find… And the list goes on. But is just doesn’t have to be this way, or at least there is definitely room for improvement.

In every office I ever worked for, I’ve always been the one who ‘made it work’, who organized, managed, coordinated, found the missing files. That chat in the Rotterdam office simply helped me coming out and unleashing the organization freak I’ve always been.

I do believe firmly that a clear and flexible organization allows to be free. It allows to spend less time in boring but necessary tasks; it allows to have more time available for what we really like doing; it ultimately allows to have a better balance between the energies spent and the actual economic return, a connection that it’s not often clear in our profession.

And this is the path I like to walk along with the architects I work with as a Consultant, offering my experience to help improving the work-flow and setting up specific and customized tools, procedures and structures in order to get that balance right and maximize the existing resources.