I…um, I mean we

This week’s episode of Project Runway (a guilty pleasure, don’t judge) was an amazing example of  “this is what you should do in a team” vs “this is what you should NOT do in a team”.

The designers were divided into two teams of five and charged with creating three fabric prints and then incorporating them into a five piece clothing collection. What ensued was a clear demonstration of the effect of team dynamics on design quality.

Team Chaos (oddly enough) benefited from having five of the more pleasant personalities and similar design aesthetics. Their inspiration — the Rorschach ink blot — was apparent in their final designs. While each person was ultimately responsible for one piece, they said that there was a bit of everyone in every piece because they worked so collaboratively. Their tasteful, cohesive collection made them the clear winners of the challenge. Yay team!

Team Nuts and Bolts suffered from two bullies while the other team members got railroaded, played peacemaker or just divested themselves completely. No one was happy with the theme they chose, and without direction the result was a hot mess. Five designers (all watching out for number one) made five individual designs, not a collection. These talented designers (four of whom have won previous challenges) became worse together. It was painful to watch.

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