I’ve been watching Sketches of Frank Gehry. If you’ve not heard of him, Gehry is an architect who creates really radical buildings such as the titanium covered Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao above. His creative process appears to start with sketches followed by models created in cardboard that get refined and refined until he is happy. It seems similar to creating 3d prototypes in software development as opposed to 2D specifications in documents. Interestingly Gehry is renowned for his projects coming in on budget. I wonder if this is because the reality of the design and its problems are ironed out in the prototype rather than during the building’s construction.
When asked how Gehry works with his clients a client said “You talk he smells”. I like this as an idea for a way to gather requirements. Rather than ask the product owner directly what they want (when they really don’t know) its best to just talk and “sniff” out the requirements.