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Team Projects + Team Teaching = Team Building

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

ET Design Projects

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1089.1 - 8.1089.6

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Paper Authors

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Frederick Mahaffey

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Elizabeth Petry

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3548

Team Projects + Team Teaching = Team Building

Elizabeth Petry, AIA Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Architecture Graduate Program Fredrick Mahaffey, AIA Adjunct Professor University of Hartford, West Hartford, Connecticut


Architects in the 21st Century are required to work as key leaders of the design team in developing projects from inception to completion. Solid teamwork is essential for success in the architecture profession and the construction industry. Teaching teamwork to undergraduate architecture students has its challenges and rewards.

At the University of Hartford we have chosen to teach our architecture design students team projects through team teaching. Projects involving teamwork offer considerable learning opportunities for the students. Working together and setting an example for students also offers considerable teaching opportunities for design faculty members.

Team-taught courses offer numerous advantages for the students, faculty, administration, institution, and the profession. Many of these advantages will prove beneficial to the architecture students overall learning experience and serve to enhance their team building skills.

The Profession and Team Building

Team building is essential in architecture. A survey of The Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice, AIA Press, 1994 reveals the following about architects and teams: • “Almost everything we do is interactive. Architects spend their professional lives working with other people. Doing that effectively depends on building relationships with others. When people with different personalities work together on an issue or project, they tend to look at it form different points of view. Often, one person sees a side of things that others miss. The best results come from maximizing and building on different strengths that those involved bring to solving the problems.”1 • “Even the smallest project requires a team of two: an architect and a client. Relationships expand as teams become larger and include office colleagues, consultants, constructors and possibly others”2 • “Self-motivation tends to be an inherent characteristic of people in architecture firms and other professional organizations.”3 • “An effective team is much more than the sum of the individuals who populate it. One of the (project) manager’s challenges is to build the team – actually help team building itself – into an effective working group.”4

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Mahaffey, F., & Petry, E. (2003, June), Team Projects + Team Teaching = Team Building Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

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