Fluid Teams

by Tim Wright

In May of 2012 Deborah Mackin wrote a teaser article about a new kind of team she was seeing emerge with project-based work called a Fluid Team. She referenced the design and development of the Beijing Olympics’ Water Cube as a shining example of a fluid team, but also alluded to how this methodology could start to bleed into the average workplace.

[…]Then there are teams of an entirely different framework, called Fluid Teams.  These are experts from disparate functions and geographies who must get a temporary project or task up and running, sometimes with completely different priorities, beliefs and values.  The Water Cube project at the Beijing Olympics was such a team with dozens of people from 20 disciplines and four countries.

Deborah Mackin

The full write-up (it’s a short one) is over on the New Directions blog if you’d like to read more. Alternatively, Penina Finger recently elaborated on Deborah’s work by connecting the concept of fluid teams to how we work in the Web design/development world. Penina went into great depth talking about what fluid teams are and how exactly they fit into what we do while working with potentially distributed teams.

The reason for taking a closer look at this approach is that we are growing accustomed to our globally scattered (or “distributed”) networks of friends and colleagues, and to the hard fact that change will only continue to accelerate. Creating and maintaining this kind of flexibility is now a superpower.

Penina Finger

You can read Penina’s full article over at Web Designer Depot.

About Fresh Tilled Soil

Fresh Tilled Soil is a Boston-based user interface and experience design firm focused on human centered digital design