Design Process- individual or teamwork?

Basically I was interested in finding out if anyone else has run into this “issue” I encountered today.

I was having a discussion with someone (who is not a designer or interested in design) about the design process. We were talking about a particular person who thought that because another persons individual design wasn’t very well thought out that they should be isolated during the design process rather than be aloud to take part in teamwork. I happened to disagree with this. I thought that if this persons individual ideas weren’t very well thought out and they were struggling with where to go from that point on, that collaboration or some kind of teamwork would be helpful to that person. I’ve noticed that with teamwork you tend to learn a lot from each other and that teamwork can benefit each individual person if they choose to learn from each other. So…this person I was having a discussion with disagreed with this completely saying that isolating that person would help them to learn more. Since having this conversation I have asked a few people and found that those who agree “isolation” would be better for the person are non-designers or those who are not interested in design while those who agree with the idea of teamwork and learning from each other through this are generally designers of some sort.

I am interested in other peoples thoughts about this…individual work, teamwork, or a little of both?

This is a terrible idea. No product is designed by one person. Designing alone is designing in a vacuum and that does not benefit anyone. It is true that you are only as good as you weakest guy, but with a team of designers you can pick them up, guide them along help them learn. I would really question you management if this is their thinking. This is a very disfunctional and unmotivating way to work.

Thankfully this isn’t a situation I was directly a part of. I noticed it happening somewhere else and wondered if this has been encountered by others and just what other peoples thoughts are on the subject.

Usually shunning a person is punishment!

I would think having that person work with various large and small groups as well as having some alone time to process and implement and practice would be either really beneficial or push them out of the organization, either way, it is what has to happen. i think isolating them is going to set up a weird barrier where the person feels resentful or the rest of the group potentially feels resentful.

hmm…possibly I have gone about this in the wrong way…

Do you think that working alone is as effective as teamwork?
Can more be accomplished as a team?
Does that really depend more on the project/topic being covered?

Too many variables.

Generally working as a team is better, but you run the risk of too many cooks, so it has to led well. You need good senior designers and CD’s to keep everyone on track.

Isolation will kill you.

From a personal point I’ve had to really bust a gut on my own (still am) to try and get to a reasonable job, it sucks constantly doing something on your own and not learning from others.

There is a time and a place for getting on and exploring in your own time, but you will learn more from your peers, why do you think everyone fights for the best internships,jobs… they want to be surrounded by the best designers to learn from (or maybe that is just me).

That said, when I was at Uni there is something to be said about working in teams and weaker members. Without trying to sound like an arse we chose our own groups when we could and essentially formed super teams because we wanted to work with the best people, especially after interning. When groups were enforced they were a nightmare, partly because of the huge variation in skill level and attitude (100+ students in a year). I remember the pains and frustrations of working with members who couldn’t give a crap or just offered very little, this had a direct impact on the better more bothered students as they were evaluated collectively and due to the large scope of the projects they often suffered.

In general I think it’s best to work ad a. Team to explore, conceptualize, and brainstorm while it is best to work in a more solitary or posibly 2 person mode to refine and implement, engagig the group or the director for review at key times.

I’m only an enthusiastic team player when I’m playing for the A-Team otherwise I work best in isolation. I guess it a personal preference of whether you’re open to input or whether you’re one of those arrogant designers who are think they know better (As I am :smiley: ) . Teamwork definitely has it’s place in gaining experience but in these cases the leader/manager should take on role as mentor as well as decision maker??

Please don’t through tomatoes at me if you see me in public…

As far as the A teM thing goes, I disagree and agree. I’ll explain: I like having desiners of various skill levels, backgrounds, e perience types, and competencies on the same team. Everybody learns that way. What j won’t tolerate is someone half assing it and putting in 110% . I’d rather have an OK talent who wants to push themselves, who gets in early, stays late, and just all round has the “fire in his belly” than a rockstar who can’t be bothered to listen, come in on time, or cares to do anything outside of their predetermined aesthetic. The average guy I can mentor and teach, and together we can Amie that B grade talent an A+ if they want it bad. In my experience the second type needs to get his butt kicked a few times before he figures it out. It’s possible, but it is difficult.

Got a little OT here but this entire thread underscores the importance in taking your time when hiring somebody. Getting the highest skilled person who fits the needs of the team dynamic is difficult and takes a tremendous amount of time and energy.