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Minneapolis, Minn.-based Fielding International approaches projects a bit differently than most architectural firms designing for the education sector, Chairman Randall Fielding admits. “The typical way to begin a design project is to listen very well and to take good notes,” he says.
“Most architects are great listeners. They will take out a yellow pad and take dozens and dozens of pages of detailed notes about what the client wants. We don’t start there. If Henry Ford asked people in 1905 what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse. Even innovative educators are not necessarily visionary when it comes to the integration of space and learning.”
“The idea is you don’t know what you don’t know. We’re trying to get people to tell us what they need and what they want, but we also need to open their eyes to the possibilities. Our process is what we call ‘active listening,’ where we challenge the status quo and get people to focus on real data vs. perception.

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