Chris Spicely, Business Unit Director:
What lessons can the world’s most iconic professional camera teach us about today’s MMC challenges?
Some of you may be familiar with the Hasselblad V camera system. Evolved by the Swedish firm from concepts that were started in 1948, it gained fame as the camera that went to the moon. Beloved by fashion photographers from Bailey to Testino, what was its secret? No secret really, just a sound initial concept, evolved through trial and error and user feedback. Components constantly updated to reflect the environment in which the camera was used. And awareness of the peripherals it needed to work with (flashes, lenses, etc) – in essence, solid-state simplicity. A genuine icon.
But global trade, technology and customer demands fundamentally shifted – changing photography forever. Asian manufacturers started to dominate, 35mm and medium format film were all but wiped out by digital, and society started capturing every key moment on phones. However, a good idea, based on sound principles, with quality execution remains relevant.
I am no photography geek but I appreciate sound design and execution when I see it, as we all should in this industry. The focus on expediency and short-term solutions for the assets we create is what bedevils this industry. Specifically:
– Chasing the lowest price (procurement and commercial approaches force this every time) instead of understanding and aligning values.
– Creating buildings as bespoke designs that inevitably have issues in design, execution and liabilities, when they should be built on repeatable, robust details.
– And lack of engagement with the supply chain partners that add the real value – not service only, but tangible producers – who can potentially take operation and maintenance risk beyond the short periods that are currently typical.
MMC is not modern, it is the latest iteration of sound ideas from the past. Decent exponents of the approach are older than they seem, Premier Modular is 65 years old and is evolving based on sound principles. At Claritas Four Zero we partner with them because of covenant, capability and capacity, but most importantly culture. If you are culturally aligned to transparency and genuine investment in continuous improvement, you can tackle the challenges we as an industry face. What we need are customers and their advisers to join us.
We have a tsunami of challenges that face us: the sustainability challenge, labour shortages, material process hikes, Hackitt report outcomes, the housing shortage, the budget deficit and construction’s endemic productivity challenge. Methods of construction are one element of the approach to assist us but fundamentally you have to look at the system from start to finish.
Victor Hasselblad had the foresight to do this in 1948 and it is still relevant today. The recently launched digital back for the Hasselblad enables 50mb capture and the ease of functionality and operability so beloved of digital photographers, utilising the entirety of Hasselblad V system.
As a parallel, digitalisation of the ‘design, delivery and in use’ process is a further strand for consideration but only as part of an overall system approach. At Claritas Four Zero we are seeking customers – asset creators and manufacturers – that want to go on this journey with us, maybe not to the moon, but let’s at least shoot for the stars.