Situational Prototyping: Architecture and Law Organizational Practicum

By Román Montoto and Michael Satz.

Published by The Organization Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In the practice of these professional fields, the organization of decisions and actions has significant consequence not always readily apparent in an academic setting. By mechanizing the relationships of architect/lawyer and client/lawyer as organizational constructs, the seminar’s agenda simulates conflicts, alterations, and ambiguities (or situational prototypes) commonly associated with those relationships in professional practice as a point of departure for team problem resolution.

Students are first organized into architect/lawyer teams, of which the architects have an architectural project ready for problem resolution. This project is used as a tool of reference for primary seminar objectives that include collaboration for the definition of project parameters, clarification of participants and responsibilities, understanding of business priorities, and cultivating effective correspondence. These serve as instruments for the resolution of given project obstructions and engagement in an organizational process:

Orientation > Team Dynamic > Obstruction > Communication > Strategic Resolution

This seminar currently consists of (4) main exercises and a concluding reflective essay in addition to organizational document submittal. Each exercise requires the completion of two main components; a written component (in the form of an essay/memorandum/appropriate work product) and a 5-10 minute interdisciplinary team presentation outlining organization and strategy for resolution of the given problem. Criteria for evaluation are based on creativity and clarity of organization with respect to strategic communication, interaction, and comprehension. As this seminar matures, its framework will expand and transform based on data collected from the student teams, reflective student essays, and their interpretation. This proposal serves as that interpretive mechanism to decipher student needs, potentials, and learning outcomes critical for their transition from an academic to a professional environment.

Keywords: Architecture, Law, Practicum, Organizational Culture

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 8, Issue 10, pp.43-50. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 564.846KB).

Román Montoto

Assistant Professor of Architecture, Department of Architecture and Interior Design, University of Idaho, Moscow, USA

Assistant professor Román Montoto studied art history and criticism before pursuing the field of architecture at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee U.S. where he obtained Master of Architecture degree in coincidence with architectural practice. Upon completion of studies, he ventured to the city of Chicago in pursuance of a career in architectural practice. After several years in practice, an invitation to instruct an architectural design studio at UW-Milwaukee was extended to him which he did for one year. This exposure to potentialities in creative and pedagogical research for design as part of academia catalyzed a shift of career path to an academic setting and his current position as an assistant professor of architecture at the University of Idaho. He currently is researching pedagogical approaches to the architectural design studio with trans-disciplinary, digital design/fabrication techniques, and generative/information design as his focus, dissemination of which includes academic writings, presentations, and creative works such as design competitions and short films.

Michael Satz

associate professor of law, College of Law, University of Idaho, Moscow, USA

Professor Satz recently joined the law faculty at the University of Idaho College of Law as an associate professor. Professor Satz received a BA and BS from Southern Methodist University in 1990. After that, he was a Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy, completing two overseas tours of duty in Japan onboard the Amphibious Assault Ships USS San Bernardino (LST-1189) and USS Dubuque (LPD-8). Professor Satz then attended The University of Michigan School of Law, earning his JD Cum Laude in 2000. While at Michigan Professor Satz was an Executive Editor on the Michigan Law Review. Professor Satz is a member of the Texas Bar and practiced for two years in the bankruptcy and commercial litigation areas with the Dallas law firm Carrington, Coleman, Sloman and Blumenthal before becoming an in-house counsel with Nissan North America Inc., also in Dallas. While at Nissan Professor Satz’ practice entailed consumer finance, bankruptcy, secured transactions and creditor’s rights as well as arbitration.


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