疫情危机下叠术的应对及洞见 Responses and Insights in Crisis | Archello专访

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新型冠状病毒带来的影响仍在全球继续,各行各业都受到了不小的冲击。如何挺过眼前的危机,生存下去,几乎是所有公司都面临的问题。
设计网站Archello采访了叠术建筑事务所的三位创始人梁励德Carolyn Leung, 博德朗Ben de Lange和博乐文Ruben Bergambagt。三位创始人与Archello交流了叠术北京公司是怎样在危机期间进行工作和管理的,同时坦诚了他们对此次危机的思考和洞察。
以下为采访全文。
With the COVID-19 impact still ongoing in the world, survival has become  crucial for many of the firms.
Archello  asked various offices about how they are giving shape to thisthree co-founding partners of Superimpose offer an insight into how their Beijing-based office managed during the crisis.  
Scroll down for the English version .

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Archello疫情带来的危机在中国正在悄然消退,叠术目前的情况是怎样的?你们认为一切还能回到正轨吗?在家远程办公可以说是一个挑战,你们公司是如何组织工作的?

我们叠术自2月份的春节假期过后就开始了在家远程办公。团队可以远程访问服务器,通过视频会议的方式进行内部沟通,以及与客户、承包商、供应商等进行日常沟通。我们也适应了网上会议和视频汇报这种形式。目前为止,我们的体验大多都还不错,但这种工作方式确实对设计工作有一定的挑战,因为通常我们都是在我们办公室的大桌子上,整个项目的团队一起进行积极的讨论、绘制草图、头脑风暴等。

3月初每日感染人数呈下降趋势,疫情得到了控制后,经过慎重的考虑并认真执行防疫措施,叠术开始回到办公室工作。我们的防疫措施包括:保持1米以上的办公距离,公司提供消毒液,员工戴口罩办公、勤洗手,我们的办公园区在入口处也执行扫码登记和测量体温等措施。目前,北京的大多数公司都已经复工。除了进入小区和商店时必须测量体温、国内出差和旅行受到限制以及其他防病毒的措施以外,我们几乎感觉回到了“正常”状态。


Archello处在疫区3-4个月的时间是一种什么样的感受?

幸运的是,北京一直都不是疫区,被证实感染的人数并不多,我们在北京也没有经历物品囤积和严重的恐慌。在2月初的时候我们确实有一些焦虑,因为我们不知道病毒传染会有多快,影响有多大,特别是考虑到春节过后会有大批人员从各地返京。

到2月的第二周,焦虑的气氛开始转向平静、有组织、有意识和有创造力的氛围。我们注意到,在中国,所有人都“同舟共济”,团结一致,无论是个人还是集体都在全力防控疫情。

此刻,每个人都在认真对待病毒。人们都承担起了个人应付的责任,戴上口罩,尽可能呆在家里,避开拥挤的地方,配合在每个小区、商店或餐厅入口处频繁地进行体温检测。人们希望别人也这样做。由于所有人都在同样的处境中,使每个人都产生了一种(在线)紧密联系的感觉。


Archello这样的方式是否能使你们的工作达到最佳?同事之间以及与其他合作方比如你们的客户之间的联系如何?这场危机是否会给当前和未来的项目带来变化?

我们感觉中国的经济仿佛被“停摆”了大约两到三个月。我们的客户最初不得不重新组织工作,花费了一定时间来建立内部的在线沟通流程。再加上财务方面的危机,导致新项目的决策被推迟。而且,直到今天,我们仍不能跟现有或潜在的客户见面,这些客户分布在中国和亚洲各地。现在离开北京意味着我们需要双向自我隔离14天。

所有这些都促使我们叠术更加积极地、创造性地寻找替代方案,以接近我们未来的客户。我们已经启动了线上的设计分享会议和互相鼓励的谈话。客户在家工作,有更多自由的时间,然而这些策略只对我们的部分客户有效。在中国,与客户建立牢固的关系至关重要。客户也习惯了这种情况,他们仍然喜欢先见面,现在这种情况下他们更愿意直接跟他们以前交往过的人交谈。

目前的项目:

幸运的是,我们目前的项目只有很少的部分被耽搁,无论在家工作还是回到办公室工作,我们的工作一直都没有停止。以下一些例子可以解释我们目前与客户合作的方式:

1,通过视频会议的方式进行项目汇报

我们在为杭州的一个共享办公项目进行室内设计,目前处于方案设计阶段。跟客户之间的沟通一直都非常顺利,主要是由于我们的客户非常灵活同时非常紧跟形势。我们之前进行概念设计汇报的时候,预先录制了一个带旁白的视频发给客户,然后双方又通过现场视频电话会议进行了讨论。

2,每周团队会议

我们正在进行的另外一个项目是一个78000平方米的TOD项目,最近在审查外立面的施工图。客户设立了一个由客户、建筑师、承包商和外立面顾问共四方参加的每周电话会议,我们四方都在中国不同的城市。即使是我们在北京的一个混合功能的项目,我们跟客户也是通过视频会议的方式进行沟通。

3,跟进现场施工进度的网络监控:

我们在安徽马鞍山有个中荷合作的项目,叠术是荷方在中国的代表。为了跟进和审查外立面施工进度,我们开始使用网络监控,承包商也会发给我们现场的即时视频。 

   

Archello这场危机有没有带给你们其他的洞见?

努力实现更有效的、可持续的沟通。

我们从这场危机中学到了如何通过不断提升的在线交流方式来提高日常沟通的效率。同时我们也学到了如何通过减少出差和实地访问项目现场来减少污染。

全年与你的客户保持联系。

这场危机也教会了我们要更频繁地、更早地与新客户联系。作为建筑师,我们常常在没有投入足够的时间进行业务发展的情况下就创建新项目而导致过度消耗。我们在疫情来临之前接触的客户以及和“回头客户”之间的联系帮我们度过了这次难关。

不要把所有的鸡蛋都放在同一个篮子里,也不要过于分散。

在这场疫情之前,我们公司已经在考虑在欧洲开展业务。这场疫情反而激励我们要为此付出更多的努力,投入在境内和境外的项目中为公司打好未来的基础。这样的布局会让建筑事务所更稳定,以防再次出现类似新冠病毒这样的危机或形势。

平衡你的团队。

作为一个国际性的公司,雇佣外籍员工有很多好处,这会给公司带来更宽广的视角和专业知识。但是在疫情爆发后,外籍员工陆续返回自己的国家,这让我们意识到,拥有一支坚固的当地核心团队是极其重要的。

为了应对此次全球性的危机,建筑师必须跳出框框,全面发展,并且需要能够适应类似现在这样快速变化的形势。有鉴于此,我们希望COVID-19的影响能够成为我们行业重新思考经营方式的理由。

我们继续致力于使我们的建筑更具可持续性,同时也致力于使我们自己更具有可持续性。

采访:Tom Kolnaar 

2020年3月24日










The following interview was posted on Archello 

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Architects work from home:Superimpose
As one of the measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, many hit countries call on working people to work from home as much as possible. Architects are also responding to this call. Archello is asking various offices about how they are giving shape to this. Carolyn Leung, Ben de Lange and Ruben Bergambagt, the three co-founding partners of Superimpose, offer an insight into how their Beijing-based office managed during the crisis.

ArchelloThe crisis is slowly passing in China, how is the current situation for your office? Can everything start back to normal? Working from home can be a challenge, how did your office organize this?

“Superimpose Architecture has worked from home throughout February, after the Chinese New Year holiday. We have remote access to our server and communicated internally through video conference meetings. Also for day-to-day project communication with our clients, contractors and suppliers, we have adapted online conference calls and video recording for presentations. So far, our experiences are mostly positive, however we did find it more challenging to have design sessions because at our office this is an act of active and participative discussion,sketching and brain storming with the entire project team at one large table. 

After careful consideration and with implementing serious measures, we resumed working at the office from the beginning of March. Our counter-virus measures include: social distancing, washing hands regularly, providing hand sanitizers,wearing face masks, and temperature checks when entering the office compound,provided by the compound security. Most of the businesses in Beijing are currently working at their offices again. Aside from the temperature checks at compound and shop entrances, restrictions on domestic travel and other counter-virus measures it almost feels like we are back to ‘normal’.” 


ArchelloWhat was it like being in the epicenter for 3-4months?

“Luckily,Beijing was never part of the epicenter in China and had a limited amount of registered infections. We never experienced any hoarding or severe panic within Beijing’s population. However, we did feel rather anxious at the beginning of February because we didn’t know how far and rapidly the virus would spread, especially considering the large projected influx of people returning from across the country after their Chinese new-year holiday. 

Towards the second week of February the anxious atmosphere was switching to a calm,organized, aware and creative vibe. We have noticed that the people in China are ‘on the same page’ and in solidarity to cope with the virus individually and as a community. 

At this moment everybody was taking the virus seriously; people are taking their individual responsibility by wearing face masks, staying at home as much as possible, avoiding crowded places and allowing for the large amount of temperature checks at each and every compound, shop or restaurant entrance.People expect other people to do the same. The virus enabled a sense of social(online) bonding because everyone is in the same situation.” 


ArchelloCould you work optimally this way? How is the contact between colleagues and other parties, such as clients? Did the crisis change anything for current and upcoming projects?

For us it feels like China’s economy has been put ‘on hold’ for around two to three months. Our clients initially had to re-organize themselves and needed time to put internal online communication structures in place. This, together with new financial insecurities, caused decisions for new projects being delayed. Also,until this day, it has been nearly impossible to meet our existing or potential clients, which are based throughout China and Asia. Traveling out of Beijing at the moment means we need to self-quarantine for fourteen days both ways. 

All of this invited Superimpose to being more creative on finding alternatives to approach our future clients. We’ve initiated online design-sharing sessions and inspirational talks for those clients working from home and with time on their hands. These strategies have worked for part of our clients, however in China,building up a strong relation with your client is crucial. Those clients too used to this still prefer to meet in person first and currently rather talk directly to parties they have been engaging with before.

Current projects:
Our current projects luckily have received very little delay and allowed us to keep working from home and later from the office again. In order to explain our current way of working with some our clients, here are some examples:

 Video Recording for presentation:

We are currently in the schematic design stage of a co-working office interior design project in Hangzhou. The project communication has been running very smoothly, mostly due to a very flexible and ‘switched-on’ client. We have presented the concept design through a pre-recorded video with voice-over,followed by a live video conference call for comments and discussion. 

Weekly online team meetings:

For another project, Superimpose is working on a 78,000 square meters transit-orientated development (TOD). We are currently reviewing the construction drawings of the façade. The client has set up a weekly conference call between four different parties: the client, architect, contractor and façade consultant, all of us located in four different Chinese cities. Even for a community focused mixed-use development in Beijing, we are communicating with our client using video conferences. 

Webcams to track site progress: 
To follow and review the façade construction progress of an on-site Sino-Dutch project nearby Nanjing, we started using webcams and other video recordings by the contractor.”


ArchelloDoes the crisis give you other insights?

Strive for a more sustainable and efficient communication: 
This situation has taught us a lot about how we can be even more efficient in our daily communication with our improved online communication methods. Also it has taught us how we can be less polluting as an office by reducing the amount of excessive flights to clients and for site visits. 

Engaging with clients all year around:

This situation also taught us to engage with new clients more frequently and earlier. As architects we are often too consumed by creating our projects without putting enough time into business development. Contacts we made before Covid19 and ‘returning customers’ have helped us to get through this situation. 

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket or diversify:

Priorto the Corona crisis, Superimpose was looking into expansion to Europe. Encouraged by the virus, we have intensified our efforts in order to have a more balanced mix of ‘live’ projects in China and at other places around the world. This will eventually result in a more stable global office in case another similar crisis situation appears. 

Balance your team: 

As an International office, having foreign employees can be very beneficial since it can provide a wider range of insights and expertise. However, in a situation like this, with foreign staff returning to their homeland, having a strong local core team is crucial as well. 

To handle the current worldwide situation, architects definitely need to think out-of-the-box, be versatile and become able to adapt to fast changing situations like these. With this in mind, we hope that the COVID-19 impact can be a reason for our profession to rethink the way of doing business. At Superimpose we continue to focus on making our buildings more sustainable, but also on becoming more sustainable ourselves.”

by Tom Kolnaar for Archello

24 Mar 2020


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