Bjarke Ingels Group: How to Project-Manage Architecture (w/ Flora Bao)

In the past decade, the number of small architecture firms has been shrinking while the number of large firms has increased. The reason? A steep rise in the complexity of the projects firms are working on. As buildings get taller and more advanced, firms need bigger teams to handle the scope. And those teams would be lost without a good project manager to organize it all. Flora Bao, project manager at Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), shared what it takes to be an excellent project manager, from soft skills to design knowledge to balancing internal and external goals.

In the past decade, the number of small architecture firms has been shrinking while the number of large firms has increased. The reason? A steep rise in the complexity of the projects firms are working on. As buildings get taller and more advanced, firms need bigger teams to handle the scope. And those teams would be lost without a good project manager to organize it all. Flora Bao, project manager at Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), shared what it takes to be an excellent project manager, from soft skills to design knowledge to balancing internal and external goals.

Interview Takeaways
  • Meet demands of large projects with larger firms
  • Balance design experience with communication
  • Change the PM role based on firm size
  • Use simple tools
  • Figure out org charts
  • Cut up large projects into chunks
  • Develop soft skills
  • Clarify internal and external goals
  • Work with each team member individually
  • Embrace generalist teams
  • Gather experience
  • Succeed by making everyone happy
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