Creativity Maximized!

 |  Filed in Reflections

By Jeremy Meek

Renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright has been lauded by many for his work on the Kaufman Residence, commonly known as Fallingwater. Some design authorities go so far as to call this definitive living space the most iconic house in America.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia**

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

In December of 2011, members of Team DSC® were privileged to attend a private event at the Phoenix Art Museum ahead of the Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit opening to the public. During this event, we received a private tour of the exhibit from students of Frank Lloyd Wright. We found it curious to learn from our docents a lesser known story about the design process of Fallingwater.

Although his creativity seconded none, Mr. Wright was infamous for his procrastination. Mr. Kaufman had grown impatient with the progress of the design on his home (or lack thereof). He called Mr. Wright one evening informing him that he would be flying in to pay Mr. Wright a visit the following morning to check on the architect’s progress. Properly motivated from Mr. Kaufman’s call, Mr. Wright dove into a flurry of diligent, focused, tireless work to complete the design of the home. The next day as Mr. Kaufman arrived, Frank Lloyd Wright put the finishing touches on Fallingwater.

We share this story not to highlight and encourage procrastination (for that is something we would NEVER, EVER, EVER do at DSC 🙂 ), but to spotlight the value of deadlines not only for the interest of gaining decisions to aid in the progression of a project, but also for the positive impact of deadlines on increased, heightened, fresh creativity.

Frank Lloyd Wright

Photo courtesy of

During my studies for the Stanford Advanced Project Management Certificate, a case study was presented by the world renowned consulting firm IDEO. IDEO is a highly creative consulting firm that is the expert on the process of product development and design. They are responsible for many innovations and creative solutions that have become “normal” in everyday life, including everything from a tube of toothpaste that can be rolled up to the “Occupied” signage displayed on airplane lavatories for the passengers to see from their seats. From experience and scientific study, IDEO (in partnership with Stanford University) has proven that placing deadlines on projects or components of projects actually INCREASES creative output. Many may believe that waiting and thinking on a subject may result in a more creative outcome, but in reality, creativity suffers and the project has the potential to drag on unnecessarily. A diligent, focused effort within a defined timeframe (not different from Mr. Wright’s all-nighter designing Fallingwater) is actually the key to increased creativity.

When there is buy-in from all stakeholders on a DSC project – Owner, Designers, Builder, and various invaluable consultants and vendors – to advance a project, we have seen the best projects come to life. Not only “best” in terms of creativity and design quality, but also “best” in terms of construction quality, lower project costs, and a high morale from the entire team. Prime example is the fast-track renovation of the historic landmark El Chorro Lodge. Given just five short months, Team DSC® galvanized the entire design and architect team to transform the 17,713 square foot endangered icon into Arizona’s first full-service LEED Gold certified restaurant. Today it stands as one of Arizona’s most beloved event and dining locations and a beacon for top-notch sustainable construction.

El Chorro Lodge - Desert Star Construction

The newly renovated El Chorro Lodge

Frank Lloyd Wright, Stanford University, and IDEO have shown that placing deadlines urges creativity. We at Team DSC® know that working towards deadlines helps speed the construction cycle, which in turn maximizes momentum on a project, reduces costs, and improves overall quality. All of this contributes to an even MORE satisfied and excited homeowner. For us, building high quality custom residential homes and taking part in leading edge renovation projects begins and ends with delivering the most value to our clients while remaining stewards of their budget and their time. Establishing and maintaining scheduled deadlines is one of many ways we maintain efficiency and optimize our efforts during a project in order to bring total value to our clients for a successful and highly rewarding outcome.

Contact us to learn more about our proactive approach to custom luxury construction. We’re happy to answer your questions and discuss how we can make your dream for the perfect home come true.