My lack of blogging in the past few weeks has been in part due to my involvement in the 2010 Urban Land Institute Hines Competition. Let’s just say that I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. As an architect, Ive missed the opportunities to be creative and design while here in b-school. So, I jumped at the opportunity to get involved in a project that involved the redevelopment of a blighted warehouse district near downtown San Diego. My team was forced to consider realistic expectations for the site and had to design a master plan showing what types of buildings would be developed and when.
My group was composed of 2 grad students from the architecture program, 1 grad student from the landscape architecture program, and 1 grad student from planning program. The competition only lasted 2 weeks and so that meant a lot of late nights in the studio. My role as the MBA on the team was to develop a financial pro forma detailing the costs of the development and the subsequent revenue generation. This required a lot of research of construction costs and research of what types of building the local market will support.
On a side note, I’ve learned from this experience that I can no longer endure the studio culture that thrives in architecture school. One of the most important things I’ve learned at Fisher is time management and although I know that the creative process doesn’t happen on a 9-5 schedule, I also know that it can be managed. Moving forward, knowing that I want to incorporate my business skills into the design profession, I know that I will have to learn to manage the design process effectively to meet deadlines. Thankfully, I haven’t graduated yet, so I still have time to develop an effective strategy for doing this.
Anyway, back to the subject of this post. I’m very proud of what my group was able to accomplish and I hope that we are able to advance to the next round of the competition. I’ll keep you posted!