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YES, YOU CAN AT BAM!
在 BAM,一切皆有可能

If you're in the West, click right HERE to waste valuable time watching hilarious Bammer interviews on YouTube!

COULD BAM REALLY BECOME A TOOTHBRUSH COMPANY?

This installment of Ballistic Propaganda Machine, BPM News wonders, “How different is Ballistic Architecture Machine compared to other architectural design companies operating in China, even globally?” After 10 years of prolific, full-charge, impassioned practice utterly heedless of category, BAM shares what it considers to be five clear differences between itself and others.

5 Traits That Make BAM Different

STRAIGHT from the horse’s mouth, BPM News airs unpolished takes (just the way we like it) of real-life BAMMERS who answer, “What is it like to work at BAM??”

So how different really is BAM? Read on to learn more about BAM’s radical approach and ideals! BAM was founded on three basic principals: “A good idea can come from anyone,” “BAM is more than the sum of it’s parts,” and “If you do the work, that’s what it becomes.” BAM does NOT believe in the all-knowing Master. Say what?! Anyone, no matter their rank, can be the most powerful influence on a project IF they want to roll up their sleeves and do the work. That includes YOU. Not to mention, BAM cares about design identity over service to client relationships. Folks, BAM’s five traits combined are DIFFERENT. Let’s get swiping!

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BAM has a saying, “If you do the work, that’s what it becomes.” Meaning that BAM supports anyone who wants to define what BAM is. If someone at BAM did the work to make it happen, BAM would get behind the idea and push, bringing varied expertise to issues that need to be solved.

Alt text ^ Seth sheds a flood of emotion as building the Clamshell carstands progresses.
在建造贝壳式车展台的过程中投入了大量的情感。

Alt text ^ Dan inspects Rain Ring steelwork with eagle eyes as construction approaches light-speed pace. 当项目施工已接尾声时,Dan 用敏锐的目光检查雨环的钢结构。

BAM has always said, “Tomorrow, we could be a toothbrush company.” What does this mean? It means that at BAM we do not have one specific goal in mind, but instead a desire to define a unique working method. BAM believes in the value of other peoples’ ideas. If someone came to BAM who we believed and trusted, who wanted to do the work to start a toothbrush division at BAM, then BAM would in fact become a toothbrush company.

Constant evolution is part of BAM’s DNA. The collective that is BAM is willing to pursue impassioned directions if someone at BAM is willing to put in the work to truly make those ideas come to fruition. BAM does not dabble lightly. At BAM if you do the work to help define what BAM is, then put simply, that’s what BAM is.

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BAM IS GREATER THAN ANY ONE AUTHOR.

Chinese art and its movement through generations has been based on the idea of the Master figure. China is not the only culture with a reverence for masters, yet the idea of the master might be more deeply ingrained. The Master is the omniscient entity, the rest apprentice. Modern design culture perpetuates this relationship. However in China, the Master is particularly strong. For instance, in education, independent critical thinking is discouraged.

BAM stands in opposition to this kind of mentality, because at BAM, we believe that ideas can come from anywhere and anyone. BAM cannot expect that its design directors have the answer to every question, nor can it be assumed that because an intern has no experience, that their ideas are not just as valid. If the ayi [person who cleans] has an idea that BAM likes, all hands on deck in support. A good idea can come from anyone: an intern, your aunt’s preschooler, the design director, or—god forbid—the client!

Further to the concept of all-knowing Master, BAM design does not proceed from a singular floppy sketch or divine phrase. BAM believes that design is a process that requires exploration at all levels, from beginning to end, so BAM requires employees to think for themselves, make decisions, and think independently at all times. BAM has encountered a countless number of employees who just want to be told exactly what to do. To that, BAM says, “Hit the road, Jack! And don’t you come back no more, no more, no more, no more!”

Alt text ^ (Above) Jake in superhero pose. (Below) Many Bammers in superhero pose is like a chemical compound which upon application of heat or shock rapidly rearranges, yielding much heat. (上)Jake 摆出超级英雄的姿势。(下)许多 Bammers摆出超级英雄的姿势—集体就如同化合物,在催化剂作用下可以产生大量的能量。

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In other words, BAM cares about design and identity over relationships that result in weak design. You will hear time and time again that in China, relationship is everything. Connections, powers, interpersonal communication, relationships are all in every way truly important to Chinese culture. But for design, working to maintain a relationship will not always produce the best quality design. Many design firms function using a model in which a strong relationship with a client brings future work. Sometimes sacrificing design intentions, quality, and schedule to maintain a favorable view among clientele means that design is no longer about design, but about providing a service. In general, design companies break into two types: service companies, which provide “amazing service” and inevitably weakened product; and “product-based” companies, which focus on producing unique product even while doing so inevitably brings the company at odds with the people paying the bills.

Chinese landscape firms are almost entirely in the service category. It may be possible to count on one hand landscape-oriented companies who work to produce a product versus give their clients an amazing user experience.

Many Chinese BAM employees go through long conditioning periods whereby BAM finds that even the most talented designers take over a year to fully understand BAM’s methodology, which elevates design over interpersonal conduct.

It is not that BAM is so “western” that BAM isn’t aren’t aware of honored Chinese customs, it is that BAM respects them, yet also chooses to resist in an attempt to create work that people have never seen, and blaze a trail unique to BAM.

Alt text Alt text ^ BAM, client team, and builders work to create Daxing’s new public central park. BAM、客户和施工队一同创建了新的大兴公共中央公园。

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“BAM is more than a sum of it’s parts.” This is a reaction to the idea and existence of star-architects, and the narcissism associated with one’s own name. ‘BAM’ stands for Ballistic Architecture Machine. Possibly the most important aspect of BAM’s name is that it isn’t the name of any of it’s founding people. It is not Skidmore, Owings and Merrill; not Kohn Peterson Fox; not Bjarke Engels Group; not Norman Foster nor Thomas Heatherwick. BAM is not the names of the people who started it and as such BAM can be better than the people who started it.

BAM can be stronger than any one person’s own ideas. By working together in a truly collaborative way more can be achieved than by simply working at the behest of a mythic namesake. BAM collaboration, especially between the founding members, is of utmost importance, not only in producing work, but in living life. BAM was always intended to be a torch that is passed.

The idea is that BAM is much more than just a company. BAM is a community and a family. BAM’s principal that ideas about design are not a fixed vision but determined by those who participate in the act of design, exists also in running company structures and business directions. There are no fixed visions for how the company should be run or the types of business or markets which should be pursued.

Many western companies in China are not structured off a partnership structure or in ways that allow company workers to define what the company becomes. The paradox is that China is a country filled with people who have collectivist values yet are excluded from benefiting from the companies to which they dedicate themselves. In this climate of top-down corporate structures, BAM stands out as unique.

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The idea of partnership itself is a growth market in China that BAM wants to capitalize on and use to attract talent and long-term commitment to BAM. BAM wants to develop its partnership system and create a transparent way for employees who have demonstrated themselves to be unique and highly qualified to become part of BAM’s decision-making strata.

BAM believes in creating opportunities which cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

Putting heads down, BAM strives to work smart not work more. BAM does not believe in high turnover. BAM is selective about who we hire; employees stay on board. BAM does not take people in and wring them out! BAM is not supported by hordes of interns clawing over each other slaving into the night. BAM finds this work environment to be a fundamental disservice to the practice of architectural design. BAM works hard and every once in a while people stay up all night. But doing so cannot be a pillar of office design methodology.

People need their time at home; people need weekends to watch TV, or go smell the flowers, or drink heavily. People need time away from work in order to work well. As a creative practice, it is important that Bammers have time to relax and play. At least according to these guys, play heightens—not diminishes—work ethic and the potential to come upon innovative ideas: this TED talk by Ideo connects play to creativity; this TED talk on original thinkers mentions the value of procrastination.

Bammers Need Time to Relax and Play

Alt text Alt text Alt text Alt text Alt text ^ BAM’s sailboat racing team, back at it. 帆船竞速队,重装上阵。

Alt text ^ Put the milk down! It’s time to tack! 放下牛奶吧!该干活儿了!

Alt text Alt text ^ Like an apple a day, the BAM superhero pose keeps the doctor away. 除了每天啃苹果,BAM 超级英雄姿势也能让医生远离我。

Alt text ^ Tender love. It’s so mutual. 设计师与其作品之间相互的、温柔的爱。

Alt text Alt text Alt text Alt text ^ Bammers let loose and play on their playgrounds. Bammers 在他们的操场上尽情玩耍。

If you're in China, click right HERE to waste valuable time watching hilarious Bammer interviews on Youku!

BAM 真的可以变身一家牙刷公司?

Alt text ^ May the BAM force be with you.

欢迎收看 BPM (Ballistic Propaganda Machine)新闻!在今天的节目中,您将了解到以下信息:与在中国乃至全球的其他建筑设计公司相比,BAM究竟有何不同?——结合 10 年的高产、全面、彻底、“愚蠢”的实践经验,BAM分享了它所认为的,自己与其他公司之间的五大明显差异。

5个特异体质,造就与众不同的BAM

Alt text ^ Bammers have their cake and eat it too. 跟着 BAM,有肉吃。

别听 BPM 新闻的胡言乱语(尽管我们真的喜欢胡说八道),还是问问现实生活中的Bammers吧:“在 BAM 工作,是什么感觉?” (注:Bammers 指 BAM 的小伙伴们)

那么 BAM 究竟有多不同? 继续阅读以深入了解 BAM 的激进设计方法和伟大理想! BAM 建立在 3 个基本原则基础上:1. 一个好的想法可以来自任何人;2. BAM 不论个人成就,我们是集体;3. 对,只有做,才有意义。 BAM 不相信所谓的“全能大师”。也就是说,任何人—不管他的头衔高还是低,只要他撸起袖子投入到这一项工作中,那么他就可能对这个项目产生最强大的影响力—这也包括你。更不用提 BAM 更在意设计品质,而不是维护客户关系这件事了。5 种特质加在一起,使 BAM 与众不同,让我们一起来仔细看看吧!

#5 “对,只有做,才有意义。”

Alt text ^ Bammer Fei, feeling into months of hard work, the results of which are now firmly embedded in that thing we call “the physical world.” 这是 Bammer 之一的陈斐在感受自己的作品。数月的辛勤工作,换来其成果牢牢地嵌入了我们称之为“物质世界”的东西里。

BAM 流行着这样的名言:“对,只有做,才有意义。”BAM 支持任何用自己的角度去定义 BAM 的人,并且站在背后坚决支持和积极推动他的任何想法,使用我们的专业知识来帮其解决可能遇到的问题。

BAM一直在说,“明天,我们也可以变身一家牙刷公司。”这又是什么意思? 这意味着 BAM 并没有一个具体的目标:相比于给独特的工作方法下定义,BAM 更看重人们的想法。如果有值得我们信任的人告诉我们,BAM 应该发展牙刷业务,那么 BAM 会真的为一家牙刷公司。

持续的进化是 BAM 基因的一部分。如果 BAM 的某个人为了使好的想法真正变成现实,而积极投入工作,那么 BAM 的集体也会拿出最大的热情一起帮他实现。BAM 做任何事都不会只是蜻蜓点水。在 BAM,你做的任何工作都成为定义的一部分,都具有意义。

Alt text ^ Bammers alongside builders tile the Sun/Moon wall in BAM’s design for Daxing Park. Bammers 与施工队一起工作:在 BAM 为大兴中央公园设计的的日月座椅的墙上拼贴瓷砖图案。

Alt text ^ Tree slayer, whom BAM apprehended after nearly 17 months of detective work. 在经过将近17个月的侦探工作后,BAM 终于捉到了“大树杀手”。

#4 BAM 不相信“全能大师”。

Alt text ^ What is my work today my leader? 嘿,领导,今天我的工作是什么?

BAM 比任何“专家”都更专业。

中国的艺术及其代代流动一直是基于“大师”的思想。大师是无所不知的实体,其余则皆为学徒。现代的设计文化继续延续了这种关系。在中国,大师是超越众人的。尤其在教育方面,个人的独立批判性思维在很大程度上是不受鼓励的。

BAM 是站在这种观念的对立面的,BAM 相信创意是可以来自任何地方和任何人的。BAM 不认为设计总监就能万事皆知,也不认为没有经验的实习生就的想法就是无用的。哪怕清洁阿姨有了 BAM 喜欢的创意,那么所有人也会全力支持。一个好想法可以来自任何人:实习生,你的幼儿园小外甥,设计总监,甚至是你的客户!

除了不相信全能大师,BAM 的设计也不是从单一的软件草图或所谓的“天赐技能”开始的。BAM 认为,设计是一个需要从头到尾、从各个层面进行探索的过程。所以 BAM 要求每位员工进行独立思考,并做出决定。BAM 遇到过无数的员工,他们只想被人告知该做什么。针对这个问题,BAM 只想说:“哥们儿,你做起来就行了!”

#3 BAM 只信“设计”,不信“关系”。

Alt text Alt text Alt text ^ *Clients and BAM, making progress! * 客户和 BAM 在一同进展!

换句话说,BAM 更在意“设计”的品质,而不是可能会导致产生设计缺陷的“关系”。在中国你会不断被灌输“关系就是一切”的理念。关系,权力和人际交往对于中国文化来说都是非常重要的。但对于设计而言,保持良好的关系不一定会获得最优秀的设计。许多设计公司都依靠与客户建立的牢固关系,而获得更多的项目机会。但是,牺牲设计意图、质量和计划表来满足客户更倾向的想法,也就意味着设计不再是关于设计,而是关于提供服务。总的来说,设计公司分为两类:提供“超赞服务”就会不可避免地削弱作品的服务公司;以及只关注作品质量本身的“以作品为基础”的公司—这会不可避免地使客户不满,甚至使公司陷入困境。

中国的景观设计公司几乎完全属于服务这一类别。但是也要相信,那些致力于产出好作品、而不是专注于维护客户关系的景观设计公司是存在的,比如 BAM。

许多来自中国的 BAM 员工都经历了漫长的思想调整期,即使是最有才华的设计师也要花一年时间才能充分理解BAM 的方法论——“设计”大于“关系”。

这并不意味着 BAM 是个完全不懂中国优秀风俗习惯的“西方”团队,BAM 尊重这些风俗习惯但同时也“部分抵制”,以期为人们创造出从未见过的作品,并给我们开辟出独一无二的道路。

#2 BAM 不论个人成就,我们是集体。

Alt text ^ Possibly the most important aspect of BAM’s name is that it isn’t the name of any of it’s founding people. 或许 BAM 这个名字中最重要的一点在于,它不是由任何创始人的名字构成的。

“BAM不论个人成就,我们是集体。”这句话,是对那些“明星建筑师”的现象以及对名字“自恋”现象的自然反应。“BAM”代表弹道建筑机器(Ballistic Architecture Machine)。BAM 这个名字中最重要的一点是,它并非来自于创始人的名字。它不是 Skidmore,Owings和 Merrill;不是 Kohn Peterson Fox;不是 Bjarke Engels 集团;也不是 Norman Foster 和 Thomas Heatherwick。BAM 不是创始人的名字,也正因如此,BAM 会比任何创始人更好。

BAM 可以比任何单独的想法更强大。通过真正的协作方式一起工作,比仅仅在同一环境中一起工作更能实现目标。BAM 的协作方式,尤其是创始成员之间的协作,不仅是创作工作中的关键因素,在日常生活中同样至关重要。BAM 一直都想成为指路的那把火炬。

BAM 不仅仅是一家公司。BAM 是一个社区,是一个大家庭。BAM 的设计准则并不是一条或一页死板的规矩,而是由所有参与设计行为的人来决定的。这个准则也同样适用于管理公司结构和业务方向:对于公司应该如何运营,或者应该追求怎样的的市场类型,也是没有固定的愿景的。

许多西方公司在中国并没有建立合伙制结构,也不允许公司员工来参与界定公司的形式。然而矛盾的是,中国虽然是一个充满集体主义价值观的国家,却无法从他们奉献了自己的公司中获益。在这种自上而下的企业结构的氛围中,BAM 显得脱颖而出。

Alt text ^ BAM can be stronger than any one person’s own ideas. BAM 比任何单独的想法都要更强大。

#1 BAM 重“质”而非“量”。

Alt text ^ BAM strives to work smart not work more. BAM 信奉“智慧”地工作,而不是“更多”地工作。

合伙制企业这个概念本身,就是中国市场的一个增长点,BAM 希望利用这点来吸引人才,并使其与 BAM 建立长期的伙伴关系。BAM 希望发展我们的合伙制体系,并为那些表现突出的员工打造一条“透明”的通道,使其有机会进入公司的决策层。

比起等待机会的降临,BAM 更相信自己创造出的机会才是独一无二的。

脚踏实地,BAM 信奉“智慧”地工作,而不是“更多”地工作。BAM 重“质”不重“量”。BAM 会慎重地去选择聘用进来与我们“乘坐同一只小船”的员工。BAM 更加不会做那种用“大饼”吸引人们进来,却在之后压榨员工的事情!BAM 的工作并不是依靠大批实习生夜夜通宵、艰苦奋斗来完成的。反之,BAM 认为这样的工作环境对建筑设计的实践是一个根本性的损害。BAM 的员工会努力工作,也会有人在某些时候通宵达旦,但这种工作方式只是偶然的,绝不能成为办公室里设计工作的常态。

每个人都需要“家庭时间”,需要时间去看看电视、闻闻花,或者大醉一场。离开工作岗位享受其他事物的时间,也利于更好地去工作。 作为一种创造性的实践,Bammers 有时间放松和玩耍是非常重要的。至少根据这些家伙的看法,玩耍可以提高、而不是减少工作热情,也可以大大激发创新想法的产生:Ideo 的这场 TED 演讲就谈到了“玩耍”与“创造力”的联系,或许你也会对其中讲到的“拖延症的价值”感兴趣。

Bammers 需要轻松放肆一下

Alt text ^ Some people just need to smell flowers on weekends. Dan and Jake go to playgrounds. 有些人只需要在周末去闻闻花,但Dan 和 Jake 得去游乐场耍一耍。

Alt text ^ “One more time: I’ll have to ask you to repeat clearly or I’ll hang up.” “再给你一次机会,你必须把话说清楚,否则我会挂断电话。”

Alt text ^ At last. BAM design reaches a design pinnacle with... CAT SCRATCH HOUSE. 的设计终于有了巅峰之作...... 猫屋。

特别奉送预告!即将登场:

BAM全体令人艳羡的日本之旅

Extra Special Preview

BAM Makes Enviable FIRST INTERNATIONAL OFFICE TRIP TO JAPAN!!!!!!!!!!!

Alt text Alt text Alt text Alt text Alt text ^ Ooookay, this trip is a little over the top. Japanese zen garden touring?! So much to take away from this visit to heaven! 好……吧,这次旅行有点玩儿过头了。游览日本禅宗花园?! 真的从这趟“天堂之行”中获取太多东西了!

CONTEST!! 比赛!!

All Bammers current, past and affiliate; friends and foes of BAM: whoever correctly guesses BAM’s next office trip wins... A PANDA SHIRT. Current Bammers: ANOTHER PANDA SHIRT. Check the auction value. It’s skyrocketing! No surprise since this shirt is designed by Bruce. Who’s he?! The B of the BAM. A graduate of BAM. Guess where Bruce works now? Maputo, Mozambique!

Alt text ^ Jessica Rabbit wears BAM’s Panda shirt. The brainchild of Bruce, construction administration assistant and handyman at BAM (did we mention, longest-standing BAM employee??) this shirt design won BAM’s office-wide vote in 2017. Cray cray Photoshop skillz, Bruce!