‘Competition’ vs. ‘Collaboration’: My Conversation Hosted by the Glass House

100922-demian-glass-house-conversations-1Earlier this year I was included in the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s ‘Modern Views‘ exhibition to benefit the restoration of Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House and Philip Johnson’s Glass House.  My submission can be seen here(pg. 26).  This week the organizers of an affiliated project called Glass House Conversations asked me to host a conversation on their website.  The project entails a different designer, writer, educator, etc. each week posing a question pertaining to design and/or the built environment, and then facilitating the online discussion.  This week is my honor to be in the moderator’s position.  For the discussion topic I decided to pose a question that I thought not only referenced the relationship between van der Rohe and Johnson but also influenced the pieces I contributed to the ‘Modern Views’ exhibition.

Question background:  The relationship between Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson has at times been described as both a rivalry and a collaboration. But what was it? History is full of creative rivalries such as Picasso and Matisse, Adidas and Puma, Microsoft and Apple, even the entire Renaissance. Today, though, technology has fostered a new model of creative process. Using open source software development and online collaborative platforms like OpenIDEO, designers are encouraged to collaborate instead of compete.

The Question: In your opinion, what produces the most innovative ideas and effective solutions: ‘Competition’ or ‘Collaboration’? Are there circumstances where one works better than the other?

To follow the full discussion please visit the Glass House Conversations website here.