The “pin-up”—a high intensity format for sharing and critiquing design—has inspired and terrified generations of architecture students. At DBA, we harness the rapid-fire creative intensity of the pin-up, but use it to solve problems, share ideas, and inspire ourselves.
Every Wednesday afternoon, we gather around snacks, beer, and a big pile of markers. Project teams present a design challenge they’re wrestling with, we ask questions and discuss, then everyone grabs their favorite pen and starts sketching. Twenty minutes later, we cover our whiteboard with new design ideas.
We started weekly pin-ups to give everyone in the office a chance to shape project designs. Since then, this collaborative exercise has become an integral part of our design process, fertilizing our projects with new ideas.
Pin-ups are a great way to gather new solutions to tricky problems. Are you stuck with five community rooms that won’t fit in the courtyard? Parking garage got you down? Time for a pin-up!
We also use pin-ups to chart new courses at transitional moments in the design process. Whether we’re moving into a different design phase, adding a new function to the building, or chopping off the top floor, pin-ups help us define the new challenge and point the way to new solutions.