The findings reveal that the associate architect-designer has about twenty years of experience working as an architect in an international firm that also works in collaboration with other international firms. The associate architect has a master’s degree in architecture and twelve years of experience has been employed at this firm for twelve years. Her internship was in an international architecture firm.
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The four interns who were interviewed have experience of about four to six years as architects and have been employed at the current firm for a period of about two to nine months.
The interviews with the associate architect and the interns reveal that most of the daily work schedule comprises office-based tasks with few field visits.
All the architects’ associates as well as the interns are proficient in their use of the language and are computer literate and can use with efficiency electronic devices including desktop computers, laptops, and PDA smartphones.
While seeking the desired information, some of the problems experienced were enabling the architects to involve in an active discussion concerning the problems they experienced when seeking information from a colleague. When I questioned an intern regarding the possible problems faced by him during such an incident, the intern was hesitant and did not desire to disclose any kind of information that might affect his relations and job status in the future. He however cautiously mentioned that it was difficult to get them on the phone since they are very busy.
Discussion and presentation of the design of the information system
In architectural design, paperwork and physical aspects are crucial as also interpersonal contact. Feedback is also a vital aspect of architectural design. However, electronic systems are used but are not extremely common among architects due to the amount of time taken, which automatically increases the time taken to complete certain tasks and makes the architects less inclined to use these services. It has been found that the information is not always available clearly and concisely and more importantly, is not readily available. It is almost impossible to acquire all the required information from electronic sources alone and therefore sharing and communicating the knowledge are important aspects. Laepple and Clayton, et al. (2005) confirm that “In many firms, like software companies, the owners and the architects are hesitant to provide unfiltered confidential information of this kind” because “They are afraid of losing competitive advantage, providing proprietary data, and or legal disputes”.
However, the importance of communication is a crucial aspect in technological processes, since without communication knowledge cannot spread and benefit all those to whom it could be useful. Communication also enables people to become more informative and is needed to facilitate effectiveness and productiveness in any field. Information is knowledge and knowledge is power, without which it is difficult to achieve optimal success in today’s world of information and communication. Therefore, seeking and sharing information is a vital aspect and the primary purpose of the information systems is to aid communication to enable humans to think and participate in the progress and development of society.
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The domain of infrastructure and architecture are “entering a new era” (Laepple and Clayton et al., 2005). Additional knowledge, information, and communication in the architectural industry have the power to “increase productivity and the quality of architectural projects” (Laepple and Clayton et al., 2005). Facilitating the library approach to seek information and ensuring that designers and architects can use these libraries efficiently with the aid of library staff is a possible way of improving the accessibility of information systems to architects. Training the architects in common project management documentation can also facilitate the communication of information. Using the electronic approach for managing them and implementing them for further use is important. It is also essential to include metadata profiles and electronic renditions of paper and physical material so that searching and accessing procedures are simplified. The communication can be facilitated through networks of architect libraries which could benefit multiple firms or even the same firm at different locations. Additionally, physical models could also be stored in the library for future reference, instead of destroying them.
The analysis indicates that enhanced patterns of communication can be used to develop architectural software for enhanced quality and productivity. All important data can be stored and communicated, within the same organization at the same location or another geographical locale. The use of paper for storing vital information not only prolongs the process of data retrieval but also leads to the potential harm of loss of important data. Information systems facilitate communications which are the essence of growth and development in any field today. Thus, the architectural industry needs to make a paradigm shift towards storing and communicating data that could be beneficial to all those who need it.
Laepple, E., M. Clayton, et al. (2005). Content Analysis Of Web-based Collaborative Design: Empirical Evidence of Design Process. AIA Report on University Research, edited by D. Friedman and F. Hoermann. Bloomington, IN: Original Smith Printing.