Bookmark and Share

Advanced Water Treatment Plant

Project Management Roles

Doug Owen, Malcolm Pirnie, Inc. (MPI), Environmental Engineers, Scientists and Planners

As overall Project Director for the principle consultant, Doug Owen's role was to create a situation within his Design Team which would get the best out of the team members in order to reach the best outcome for the client. An essential part of his role was to keep the client on board with ideas as they were developed by the Design Team.

The conflicting architectural aspirations and approaches of the architect and Robert Millar's Art Team presented Doug with a difficult management situation. Ultimately he had the authority as arbiter of what was best for the client to pick and choose which ideas he wanted to include and which to dismiss. However, because he respected the way Robert was working and the contribution he was bringing to the project, Doug was content to let the conflict continue unresolved up to the 30% design stage. Had the project continued, the problem would have had to be addressed in the next phase.

Jim Shamloufard, Metropolitan Wastewater Department (MWWD)

Jim Shamloufard managed the project on behalf of the City of San Diego , liaising with the principle consultant and ensuring that quality standards, budget projections and timetables were achieved.

Paul Gagliardo, also of MWWD, was the representative for technological implementation on behalf of MWWD. He understood the technology and had done the preliminary research for the project. He is a project initiator and would normally have handed over the project to the contracted Design Team. In this project, however, he needed to be much more involved because of the technology and its implications for public health, the community and politicians. He also had a personal interest in the architectural realisation of the project.

A particularly important task for Paul was his advocacy role, to colleagues within the Department, to his political masters and to the public, promoting and interpreting the technology. Whilst not an artist himself, he is able to appreciate art work, and was particularly supportive of Robert's way of inputting to the design process.

Gail M. Goldman, Public Art Director

Gail oversaw the project on behalf of the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture, with the role of ensuring that the artist would be able to make the most effective contribution to the project. Having helped identify the project as suitable for artist intervention, Gail contributed to the Request for Qualifications documentation to potential project engineers, and was able to comment on the abilities and qualities of artists proposed by bidding teams.

Thereafter her role was largely behind the scenes working with the key players both to smooth the path for the artist in advance and by troubleshooting when conflicts arose to ensure that they were resolved positively. She helped define the scope of work and fees for the artist. Knowing that Robert Millar was experienced in public projects and was able to communicate effectively with MPI, Gail could direct her attention toward advocating and supporting Robert's role in the project.

Gail spent a great deal of time working with the client, MWWD, and contractor, MPI, helping them to be open to what Robert Millar could offer and helping to move forward their understanding so that they could embrace the project as it evolved beyond their comfort zone of experience. She worked hard to ensure client and contractor understanding of the reasons behind Robert's request to bring architect Tom Buresh onto his Art Team, and to secure their support.

Gail commented that it was one of the most labour intensive projects she had worked on, partly because for the MWWD, the project itself was concerned with a new technological process and with a high public and political sensitivity factor. In addition, the artist had taken on the lead role in defining the conceptual and aesthetic manifestation of the AWTP project, a role which had not be envisaged at the outset, by either MPI or Gail Goldman, and which shook the internal balance of the Design Team. For this increased input he quite reasonably requested an appropriate fee and only after considerable negotiation on the part of Gail Goldman was a fee acceptable to all parties agreed.

© Copyright Joanna Morland 2003.