Architects follow like ants, Giant freakin’ ANTS!

Buildings are very complex and it takes a team to get them built. There’s property owners, investors, Financial institutions, City officials, Architects, Engineers, Consultants, Contractors, Building Inspectors, Insurance agents, Osha inspectors, lawyers, real estate brokers, marketing professionals, and more on the team.

Swarming over the “soon to be” building like ants. Giant Freakin’ ANTS!

Think about keeping all those diverse individual contributors, all with their own agenda, moving in the same direction – orderly. Keeping them all moving towards the same unified goal? How does that work?

I want to believe that the Architect provides the vision and the leadership to keep the team moving towards the goal of a unified building. She leads the team. She’s the guide. The compass.

But, I’m not sure that’s the case. Maybe the process is more like the forces that guide ants.

Ants don’t have a leader. Yet they form incredibly complex societies. They find food, build cities, carry out the trash, and bury their dead. And, all with no individual guidance. How? Turns out, it’s actually pretty simple. Ants follow each other. They leave a chemical trail that the ant behind simply follows. The overall complex order of the whole ant society can be reduced to that simple pattern. One ant follows the ant in front of them. (I learned most of that from listening to RadioLab – HERE)

Maybe there is no leader when we create buildings. Maybe the team members just follow the team member in front of us. Is it possible that what seems like such a complex organization can really be reduced down to that simple order?

Do we just follow the ant in front of us?

All images are from “House Taken” from Colombian artist Rafael Gómezbarros – the National Congress of Colombia. Photos by Juan Carlos Herrera. See more at Rafael Gomezbarros’ photostream on Flickr – HERE