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Medium 9781902375014

5.10 Conclusion

Low Sui Pheng Chartridge Books Oxford ePub

CHAPTER 5

A case study of ISO 9000 in large scale projects

5.1 Introduction

Although quality management systems were introduced more than a decade ago in the construction industries of the developed countries (in the United Kingdom, for example), the implementation of quality management systems in some less developed countries is still a relatively new phenomenon.

While quality management systems are now slowly making their presence felt in the less developed countries, there has been a lack of study of the problems faced by practitioners in implementing quality management systems for building projects during their infancy stage in the industry. This vacuum was, likewise, felt in the more developed countries like the United Kingdom when quality management systems were first introduced to their construction industries. This lacuna at the infancy stage means that the lessons and experiences learnt from implementing quality management systems in one particular building project are not necessarily transferred to benefit other projects. Apart from filling this vacuum, the aims of this chapter are to:

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Medium 9780253006875

1. Talking to People about Art

Joanna Grabski Indiana University Press ePub

PATRICK MCNAUGHTON

Without thinking about it deeply, you might not realize that talking to people about art is a practice fraught with difficulty. First, there is the fact that visual art especially, but also music and performance, deploy form to produce an effect in ways that often defy authoritative explanation. Art takes you to places filled with thoughts and emotions, but by a very different route than you would have traveled had words alone been the vehicle in which you rode. Indeed, it sometimes seems that art exists to provide a landscape of exploration and analysis in which words work only with the greatest deliberation, and then at the cost of losing some of art's provocative potency. When you talk to people about art, be they consumers or producers—audiences or artists—you face the problem that words can be clumsy, obfuscating, diffusing tools with which to record the making and experiencing of visual culture. It might be easier to use words to examine the things that exist around art, such as artists’ biographies, influences on their work, the influence they have on others, the ways they manifest technique, or the goals they seek to articulate, though these topics too impose obstacles and are not as straightforward as they might seem. But exploring the broad world of art, from artists’ backgrounds and abilities to the effects that artists seek to create and the experiences that audiences gain from art, is vitally important if we are to comprehend expressive culture's depth of resonance in the human condition and its relevance to all human affairs. So we must seek ways to use words that foster understanding of a creative domain that often seems anathema to verbal exposition.

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Medium 9780253019097

4 At Home in the World: Living with Transoceanic Things

Sandy Prita Meier Indiana University Press ePub

Swahili coast interior design and ornament invites an extended exploration of the meaning of objects when their “life” is shaped by transoceanic circulation. As we have seen in the case of Zanzibar, its modern palaces existed at the intersection of new and old building cultures. Sultan Barghash deployed a multiplicity of forms and technologies to manufacture architectural theaters of triumph and pleasure. His project was part of a larger nineteenth century phenomenon: the desire to transform east Africa’s port cities into strategic sites of imperial power and capitalist modernization. This chapter presents a more intimate analysis of the social lives enacted within the architectural spaces of the Swahili city. I explore the reasons why imported ornament and objects captured the imagination of Swahili coast residents for centuries and how the impact of industrial modernity intensified the local desire to collect things from overseas.

People give meaning to objects by arranging them in relationship to other things. The production of meaning therefore has a physical effect on the material environment, since such arrangements change how we experience a particular room or material landscape. When an object comes to rest in a new place it also expresses a new idea or concept. Through its arrangement in real space it will become commodity, artifact, art, souvenir, or relic. How objects take on different values and meanings as they move through time and space is now often called the “social life of things,” after Arjun Appadurai’s seminal edited book of the same title, published in 1988. But it is people who set this life in motion through various actions upon things, including trading them, buying them, or placing them on altars or graves. In a sense the agency of things is always constituted by someone’s actions. Scholars such as Patricia Spyer and Nicholas Thomas, among others, have complicated our understanding of human–object relationships by foregrounding how the act of appropriating things from a foreign society simultaneously consolidates and displaces existing systems of signification.1 The moment of displacement from one context to another brings the thing into sharp focus: it presents the object laid bare, before it is assimilated and before it transforms and is transformed by its new context. When objects are displaced, we become particularly aware of their physical presence and materiality. They stand out. This is especially the case with trade objects that circulate across physical borders and move into vastly different cultural settings. Because they are exotic or foreign they tend to retain something uncanny and untranslatable about their form, even long after they have come to rest in their new homes. We can apprehend them as a thing, or we see their pure presence, outside of the cultural meaning projected onto them, more easily. This thing-ness is exactly what was cultivated as an aesthetic in the interior spaces of the Swahili coast. The Swahili culture of things celebrates the ability to displace objects and values across great distances.

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Medium 9781902375014

3.6 Case studies

Low Sui Pheng Chartridge Books Oxford ePub

CHAPTER 3

Managing change under ISO 9000

3.1 Introduction

An effective quality management system is one which adopts customer-oriented strategies and has an organisational form which can respond efficiently to customer preference. It should also encourage innovations - new technologies, new markets, new customer applications of existing products, new products, new organisational forms, new requirements for entrepreneurial activities - and be flexible enough to meet social and economic changes in the environment. The improvement of existing quality management systems through flexibility and innovation will increase product and service quality. This will in turn enhance and advance the organisation’s business objective.

The “segmentalist” and “integrative” concepts are examined in this chapter using detailed case studies of two construction firms. These should be removed from or implemented into the organisation where necessary. Organisations must adopt the “integrative” approach which looks ahead to the challenges of the future rather than the “segmentalist” approach which is contented with past accomplishments. A corporate renaissance must be created within the organisation to take on these challenges and implement change and innovation. It is therefore necessary to develop the humanistic factors and a “participatory management” environment. However, in so doing, the technical aspects are also of importance and should not be totally ignored. These are collectively the key elements to maintaining a quality management system effectively.

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Medium 9781902375014

4.5 Specification of requirements

Low Sui Pheng Chartridge Books Oxford ePub

CHAPTER 4

Legal implications for the construction industry

4.1 Introduction

Traditionally, a client’s expectations with regard to quality in construction works are ensured and upheld by building contracts. With the recent emergence of ISO 9000 quality management systems, however, the definition and assurance of quality have taken on a new dimension. Many contractors have since applied quality management systems in their organisations without understanding its intricate relationship with the building contract used. This chapter examines the likely conflicts and compatibility between Standard Forms of Building Contract and quality management systems. An understanding of the possible legal obligations that may arise from adopting a quality management system contractually will help contractors and clients protect their interests when defects arise. In addition, many contractors are in the process of establishing their quality management systems to increase their competitive and bidding edge.

This trend has raised questions as to the application of quality systems to Standard Forms of Building Contracts in the construction industry. There is a tendency for both the Quality Manager and Construction Manager to consider quality systems and their associated legal obligations separately from building contracts. This may be acceptable when the quality system is still in its infancy stage. As the quality system matures, however, there would be unavoidable interaction between quality systems and contractual/legal obligations at different levels, especially when there is evidence of reliance by the purchaser on certification such as ISO 9000.

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Medium 9780253337566

Materialization

Henry Glassie Indiana University Press ePub

Architecture works in space as history works in time. History interrupts time’s ceaseless flow, segmenting and reordering it on behalf of the human need for meaning. Architecture intrudes in the limitless expanse of space, dividing it into useful, comprehensible pieces. Converting space into places through disruption, architecture brings meaning to the spatial dimension.

With astronomy as the extreme instance, the architectural impulse begins in exploration and naming. The baby crawls upon a softness that matures in meaning as time passes and names pile up: the softness is a rug, it is a red rug, it is a mediocre late nineteenth-century eagle Kazak. The explorer ventures into unknown territory to parcel and claim it with names that commemorate his heroism. Through time, names accumulate on the land and combine to recall its history: the sequence of settlement, the conflict between the invader and the native.

The name is a fleeting means for bringing history into space and marking the land as meaningful. Marking becomes firmer with physical alteration, when a trail is blazed through a forest, or one stone is piled on another to set a limit. More stones confirm the limit and rise into walls: the wall the Chinese built that turned the mounted warriors westward toward Europe, the wall the Romans struck across Britain to cede the heathy highlands to the wild men of the north, the walls of forts along the borders, the walls of prisons and gated communities, the walls of the cottage where the bold thresherman, his day’s work done, dandles the baby on his knee.

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11. Undisciplined Knowledge

Joanna Grabski Indiana University Press ePub

ALLAN DESOUZA AND ALLYSON PURPURA

This chapter explores the possibility of art-writing occupying a space that is “undisciplined,” where it resists categorization and translation into the domain of art history. We propose that such a space is enabled not only through dialogue but also by recognizing the multi-sited character of art-making and the effects that its movement, politics, and social relations can have on writing about and framing contemporary art. Constructed as a series of exchanges between the two of us, this chapter builds on the contingencies and temporal qualities of its own making; we tack back and forth, betraying and probing our own disciplinary biases in an effort to meet in the middle. The chapter is defined by its process, which, despite its mix of anecdotes, external references, and tentative offerings, is not an example of the undisciplined per se, but rather an exploration of its possibilities.

Purpura: In February 2008, I attended a conference at Harvard University, “New Geographies of Contemporary African Art,” in which artist Allan deSouza was asked to present a paper on his work that was written by a scholar who, the audience was told, was unable to attend the conference. What follows is an excerpt from deSouza's presentation.

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Medium 9781902375014

1.4 Certification for construction firms

Low Sui Pheng Chartridge Books Oxford ePub

CHAPTER 1

Development and implementation of ISO 9000

1.1 Introduction

Formal quality management systems are increasingly recognised worldwide as an essential attribute of any business. The objectives of quality management are to create and sustain management systems that are sound professionally, commercially, operationally and contractually.

In the 1970s, a large number of national standards were developed for quality systems used in the manufacturing, military and nuclear industries. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, formal quality management techniques were applied in many other business sectors including the service industry and professional organisations. The first quality management standards were not drafted for professional services but these still form the basis for all third party assessments in the service industry. The services provided by building professionals such as architects, engineers and quantity surveyors, unlike a product, often cannot be easily set down tangibly. These services and judgements are highly personalised and intangible. Issues change from time to time and very often there is no single way or an absolute answer to a set of problems, which cannot simply be reduced to pre-planned checklists and routines.

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Medium 9781902375014

3.2 ISO 9000 Quality Management System

Low Sui Pheng Chartridge Books Oxford ePub

CHAPTER 3

Managing change under ISO 9000

3.1 Introduction

An effective quality management system is one which adopts customer-oriented strategies and has an organisational form which can respond efficiently to customer preference. It should also encourage innovations - new technologies, new markets, new customer applications of existing products, new products, new organisational forms, new requirements for entrepreneurial activities - and be flexible enough to meet social and economic changes in the environment. The improvement of existing quality management systems through flexibility and innovation will increase product and service quality. This will in turn enhance and advance the organisation’s business objective.

The “segmentalist” and “integrative” concepts are examined in this chapter using detailed case studies of two construction firms. These should be removed from or implemented into the organisation where necessary. Organisations must adopt the “integrative” approach which looks ahead to the challenges of the future rather than the “segmentalist” approach which is contented with past accomplishments. A corporate renaissance must be created within the organisation to take on these challenges and implement change and innovation. It is therefore necessary to develop the humanistic factors and a “participatory management” environment. However, in so doing, the technical aspects are also of importance and should not be totally ignored. These are collectively the key elements to maintaining a quality management system effectively.

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Medium 9781902375014

2.3 Authority and power

Low Sui Pheng Chartridge Books Oxford ePub

CHAPTER 2

Behavioural influence of ISO 9000

2.1 Introduction

The ISO 9000 standard is a quality management system which involves every employee within an organisation, both directly and indirectly. As a management system, it requires discipline within an organisation to ensure that procedures are followed closely by all employees. Unless everyone contributes with the right attitude, the system will not function properly. While documentation is the key to implementation, top management’s commitment, the generous provision of resources and a positive attitude towards ISO 9000 are important attributes which underpin quality management systems. Quality management systems do not function effectively without the support of senior management.

In reality, however, things are not always smooth going. It is human nature to resist change, even for the better. Apart from employees’ reluctance to follow a set of rigid procedures, they may also perceive it as pointless to document procedures for activities which they have been doing every day for many years. The failure of management in securing co-operation and co-ordination adds to difficulties in implementing quality systems. Furthermore, organisation politics is another reality which should not be ignored for managing quality systems effectively. While the technical requirements of ISO 9000 are important, studies have suggested that other non-technical, irrational and socio-political factors may have an equally adverse influence on quality management systems (Seymour and Low, 1990; Low, 1989, 1993).

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Medium 9781902375014

8.7 Conclusion

Low Sui Pheng Chartridge Books Oxford ePub

CHAPTER 8

Total Quality Management

8.1 Introduction

While quality management systems will help to promote good quality construction, it should be realised that the building industry is, however, frequently characterised by diverse professionals as well as a heavy dependence on foreign labour in some countries. This diversity and reliance can lead to cultural, social as well as professional stratification. Hence, to achieve quality construction, there is a need for all parties involved in the building process to cultivate a teamwork mindset. Unfortunately, such a mindset appears to be still lacking in today’s construction industry. It follows from such a situation that a more rational management approach for the construction process needs to be identified. The existing system of project implementation frequently leads to conflicts among the parties involved in the building process, hence rendering the system devoid of effective communication and teamwork. As construction projects become more varied and complex in nature, a fresh management paradigm seems imperative. In this context, a shift from the profession based scenario to a project-oriented team based scenario may be envisaged. The various disciplines should function within such a team culture, guided by policies, procedures and systems whilst focusing on the objectives and benefits identified for the project from the outset.

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Medium 9781902375014

4.2 Authority to deal with non-conformities

Low Sui Pheng Chartridge Books Oxford ePub

CHAPTER 4

Legal implications for the construction industry

4.1 Introduction

Traditionally, a client’s expectations with regard to quality in construction works are ensured and upheld by building contracts. With the recent emergence of ISO 9000 quality management systems, however, the definition and assurance of quality have taken on a new dimension. Many contractors have since applied quality management systems in their organisations without understanding its intricate relationship with the building contract used. This chapter examines the likely conflicts and compatibility between Standard Forms of Building Contract and quality management systems. An understanding of the possible legal obligations that may arise from adopting a quality management system contractually will help contractors and clients protect their interests when defects arise. In addition, many contractors are in the process of establishing their quality management systems to increase their competitive and bidding edge.

This trend has raised questions as to the application of quality systems to Standard Forms of Building Contracts in the construction industry. There is a tendency for both the Quality Manager and Construction Manager to consider quality systems and their associated legal obligations separately from building contracts. This may be acceptable when the quality system is still in its infancy stage. As the quality system matures, however, there would be unavoidable interaction between quality systems and contractual/legal obligations at different levels, especially when there is evidence of reliance by the purchaser on certification such as ISO 9000.

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Medium 9780253353627

4: Equality ~ Shared Light

Henry Plummer Indiana University Press ePub

4

EQUALITY ~ SHARED LIGHT

Transom over Dining Room Doors Church Family Dwelling House Hancock, Massachusetts

TRANSOM WINDOW

Transom windows, frequently placed by Shakers above inner as well as outer doors, provide a means to increase the light shared between neighboring rooms, and maintain this flow even when doors are fully closed. Interior transoms are typically set over doors connecting dark corridors and well-lit perimeter rooms, and take shapes ranging from multi-paned rectangles to arched or semicircular fanlights.

Fanlight between Kitchen and Dining Room Center Family Dwelling House Pleasant Hill, Kentucky

Arched Transom over Infirmary Door Center Family Dwelling House Pleasant Hill, Kentucky

INTERIOR WINDOW

The stretching of light, and the open feeling, afforded by an interior window are especially impressive when able to transform an utterly mundane space, such as a back stair or closet. An ingenious device to siphon daylight deeply into a building, this glazed opening serves also to share illumination between rooms demanding acoustic separation, so as to spread light in a peaceful way, free of disrupting noise.

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7.11 Knowing quality costs reduces quality costs

Low Sui Pheng Chartridge Books Oxford ePub

CHAPTER 7

A system for quantifying construction quality costs

7.1 Introduction

There are three components that make up quality costs: Prevention, Appraisal and Failure costs. The ISO 9000 standard introduces a quality management system that has been widely claimed would reduce the costs of business. One of the ways it does this is through a reduction in quality costs. The ISO 9000 quality management system establishes work procedures that reduce defects. Proper design and implementation of these work procedures lead to reduced wastage as more work would be done right the first time. Ultimately, the costs of operation would decrease. However, no study has been done based on the above premise. Although it has been widely claimed that ISO 9000 would reduce the costs of doing business, no studies have been undertaken within the context of ISO 9000 certified construction firms. Due to this vacuum, this chapter proposes a cost system to capture site quality costs. The aims of this chapter are to:

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An Entry to History

Henry Glassie Indiana University Press ePub

I discovered history in houses. In 1966, I selected a small area in the middle of Virginia for study. A wide, loose survey convinced me that the area would make a good sample of the large architectural region of the Chesapeake Bay. Acting happily within the frame for research crafted by my mentor Fred Kniffen, I intended to depict the geographical personality of the region through its buildings. I made a quick record of every house and drew careful measured plans of many. Old houses dutifully exhibited a distinct regional character, but the more I analyzed them, the more I felt that the big story was historical change. My training in social science, in days dominated by synchronic systematizing, did little to prepare me for the job at hand.

Houses spoke of history. The old house had a square hall with a narrower parlor built on its end. The front door gave access immediately to the interior, and it was set a touch off center to expose the internal workings to view. With one step, the visitor enters the hall, then turns toward the fire where the work of cooking and entertainment takes place.

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