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Are there disadvantages to OGS? What has been done to overcome them? As with all work that involves people and great physical distances, communication styles and differences in deadlines pose the biggest challenges. Mr Rida Sobana, a director of DPA (Indonesia), points this out, “Conceptually, OGS is the ideal avenue in optimising our global expertise, exposure and local knowledge. However, in many occasions, due to existing project commitments of individual offices and teams, ensuring OGS works well and flawlessly is challenging.” The solution, he highlights, is to nip it right in the bud, “Thus, clear and structured rules of engagement among stakeholders is key. This ensures that there is clear priority of tasks which help teams form quickly and commence work immediately. This was done with clear structural adjustments to how the office continues its operations.” This, Mr Steven Liew, director at DPA (Malaysia) agrees as he places emphasis on the necessity for “communication channels, both through the infrastructure and through social relations, to be kept strong.” To do so, DP does two things. The first is to always ensure that every office is aligned to the common objective of achieving design excellence. Tools such as the Attributes of Purposeful Design chart, annual Blueprint sessions, shared communication platforms and many others help to achieve consistency and quality in design. The second is to fully exploit technological advancements so much so that it is a common consensus and a corporate culture that with the availability of technology and the firm’s access to it, there is no excuse for non-communication.
There are challenges when it comes to coordinating and communicating with different parties on a global level but that is alleviated by our improved communication capabilities that make it easier and smoother to reach each other. It is also important to keep an open mind when discussing issues with colleagues from other offices as there will be different ways of dealing with the same problem. Greater understanding towards each other is necessary to jointly come up with impactful solutions. – Toh Sze Chong | Director (Middle East and North Africa)
Any organisation’s strength is based on the relationships between its people. If these connections or links are weak, the whole will eventually fall apart. When these relationships evolve from being floors apart to countries apart, it is doubly important to ensure that these connections are strong. To ensure the fostering of this family, DP leaders meet twice a year in one location, face to face, to refresh their common vision. With all the filetransfers, emails and WhatsApps, we should remember, ultimately: “It’s good to talk.” (A line from a famous UK TV advert from my childhood.) – Kailas Moorthy | Associate Director (UK/Europe)
Gina Sincero I am Gina Ann Sincero from Cebu, Philippines. I’ve worked in Singapore for the past nine years and have recently joined DPA (Singapore) as a Senior Architectural Executive in September 2018. I love a bit of creative expression and exploration, so sketching on the weekends whenever time permits is something I enjoy. Portraitures are most interesting for me. I enjoy capturing the different expressions and personalities of my subjects, and the challenge of getting the details correct. It is what validates a successful portrait. For this series of drawings, I first handsketched and then digitally painted each portrait.
Through low-cost online communication tools, DP is able to capitalise on the ease of information sharing across international offices. This brings diversity in thought and advantages in design and office operations as there is a common platform that connects DPians all over the world through exchanging of creative ideas, sharing of wide-ranging expertise and even pooling resources across different time zones. – Bernard Tay | Associate Director (Indonesia)