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Client, User and Architect Interactions in Construction: Implications for Analysing Innovative Outcomes from User-Producer Interactions in Projects

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Three case studies of user/client-architect interaction, and their implications for an understanding of the design and innovation process in capital goods projects, are considered in this paper. The studies presented include a major 'City Challenge'-funded social housing development programme in the UK, a housing co-operative-driven workplace and housing scheme associated with the same programme and a new building for the business school of a major UK university. Reflecting upon existing literature on user-producer relationships, the paper draws two key conclusions from the case studies that add to this literature. The first points to the need to account for the broader strategic motivations of agents within projects. Two of the case studies describe how innovation driven by the architects involved exceeded the original requirements of the client, and in so doing reveal architects to be oriented toward non-project specific goals. The second conclusion focuses on the user/client and points to the importance of a strong and coherent 'customer vision' in 'enabling' the client to determine project outcomes more fully. Following from these conclusions, it is argued that an analysis of client/ user-producer interactions needs to account more fully for the effects of longer-term strategic planning by agents.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Newcastle- upon-Tyne, Business School, UK

Publication date: 2004-12-01

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