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Grab a Coffee – but Stay for Dinner

July 29, 2015

Todd Duwel

The iconic 80’s movie, The Breakfast Club (Dir., John Hughes, Universal Pictures, 2/15/85) offers many available parallels between a misfit group of students forced to spend a weekend detention together and a set of designers and contractors forced to co-exist during a project’s life cycle.

Just like designers and contractors today, each of the students came to that table long ago, weighted down by, among other things: strategic/clever plans; personalized expectations; preconceived notions; and defense mechanisms tailored to guard against unspoken vulnerability.

With the benefit of 30 years, we know the story well. Roadblocks once erected, when slowly removed, enable a more navigable communication, permit an exchange of ideas, and ultimately lead to a shared understanding, trust and appreciation for one another.

Designers and contractors could avoid the drama so perfectly captured in the movie by learning from these students and implementing their lessons into their respective professions. A project’s outlook, like the promise of Monday in the movie, would be so much brighter.