Posted in From the Editor on July 28, 2016 2:03 pm EDT

The Power of Teamwork

The AIA's Knowledge Leadership Assembly (KLA) draws on the power of collaboration to make architectural projects, and ultimately communities, stronger.









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TAGS: aia, built environment, collaboration, faith-based spaces, ifraa, teamwork, wfx,


By Carol Badaracco Padgett

Teamwork is at the heart of true collaboration; it leads to an exchange of ideas from multiple vantage points—and ultimately to success.

I recently attended the American Institute of Architects’ Knowledge Leadership Assembly (KLA) in Washington, D.C. KLA is populated by the advisory groups of some 21 knowledge communities of the AIA; these knowledge communities include the Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art and Architecture (IFRAA), whose Collaboration Committee I’ve headed for the past two years under IFRAA Executive Director Chip Lindeke of Rafferty, Rafferty, Tollefson, Lindeke Architects in St. Paul, Minn.

In the end, communities won’t get a better shot at problem-solving architectural solutions to aid them with functionality, sustainability, and true connection in their built environments....

This was my second trip to KLA, with last year’s assembly taking place in Denver. What strikes me most about both of the KLAs I’ve had the honor to attend is the true collaboration of ideas—both between knowledge communities and between the individuals on the boards of each one. Architects representing healthcare and justice facilities sit alongside those representing residential architectural design, faith-based facilities design, and many other sectors. While most of the attendees are architects, a few, like myself, are in professions allied to the field. But no matter which role a professional representing a knowledge community plays, the strength of all voices and experiences is heard and weighed. A collaboration of minds is meeting to exchange ideas, dream together, and to create a better fit between the profession and the communities it serves. In the end, communities won’t get a better shot at problem-solving architectural solutions to aid them with functionality, sustainability, and true connection in their built environments.

Worship Facilities Conference and Expo (WFX, this year held Sept. 21-22 in Louisville, Ky., at the Kentucky Exposition Center) is, in a sense, fostering the same thing for the church teams that attend it. Rather than having people acting from silos of one-sided interests, working from their home churches and from one very select perspective, the church teams that attend WFX have the opportunity to come together and increase in strength. Again, each voice is heard, experiences are weighed, and teamwork fosters solutions to growing pains and other hurdles.

If collaboration wasn’t necessary for success, events like KLA and WFX wouldn’t thrive—and professions, businesses, and ministries would likely crumble wearing the blinders of one-sided concerns.






Learn more about the companies in this story:

American Institute of Architects (AIA)


Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art and Architecture (IFRAA)





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