Faculté des sciences

Assessing ‘Quality’: The unfolding of the ‘Good’—Collective decision making in juries of urban design competitions

Wezemael, Joris E. Van ; Silberberger, Jan M. ; Paisiou, Sofia

In: Scandinavian Journal of Management, 2011, vol. 27, no. 1, p. 167-172

The radical orientation towards the future; the notion of novelty, experimentation and creativity makes an architectural competition a fascinating object – not least for management studies. In the paper at hand we discuss findings of an ethnographic study on the jury assessment sessions of four recent architectural competitions in Switzerland. We consider these meetings as a laboratory from... Plus

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    Summary
    The radical orientation towards the future; the notion of novelty, experimentation and creativity makes an architectural competition a fascinating object – not least for management studies. In the paper at hand we discuss findings of an ethnographic study on the jury assessment sessions of four recent architectural competitions in Switzerland. We consider these meetings as a laboratory from which we might gain a better understanding of collective decision making processes in general, that is, beyond the scope of design competitions.We point out that the relevant criteria for assessment of architectural propositions are not given in advance; rather they emerge during, that is, through the jury's decision making process: while the board of jurors explores the space of potential solutions as generated by the submitted architectural propositions. Therefore, we believe that a competition jury's decision making (or sense making) process tells us a lot about dealing with complex situations. Situations that do not just display a variety of actors (humans and non-humans) but in particular a high degree of intertwining of the involved actors.