Strictly speaking the Internet has changed everything. Virtual meetings, collaborative documents and long distance chats. But some things will never change. For example: face-to-face communication.
There is something very human about communicating with someone within their physical space. We are, after all, highly communicative, and most obviously verbal creatures. But body language, facial expressions, hand gestures, and eye movements convey a wealth of information in a conversation. And there is an element of tactical expression that doesn’t translate well in a video chat. For these reasons I continue to believe that one-on-ones with my clients are a must.
But that’s interesting in a way. For as an architect I also must communicate in the abstract. I am in effect, creating an instruction for physical material, its form and aesthetic representation in a design, plan or drawing. And that is a very different form of communication; in specs, measurements. An instruction to the builder that conveys my design to the physical structure.
I’m communicating on any given project in both these way; the physical conversation and the blueprint.