As the first Florida franchise to join Transforming Architecture I have been presented with many questions about the need for transformation and the impact to my clients.
Why do we need to change the role of the architect? To answer this question, we first need to look at the typical view of the architect and the reality that the profession is facing.
Outside of a few star architects the profession of architecture is not a money maker and indeed quite challenging. In fact, after 5+ years of schooling, 3+ years of IDP training and over 48 hours of testing for the license, architecture is the third to last paid profession in the relation from education to income. So why do we do it? because most of believe in making a difference and creating beautiful spaces and places.
There are a few of us that have made it to stardom through ingenuity, exceptional design and sometimes just luck: the right commission at the right time. Great architecture required a number of components: A client, funding, a site and a simple idea; for the latter, we come into place. A combination of all these factors creates amazing structure.
But what about the day to day architecture? Design, quality design is not a privilege to the wealthy but rather a necessity for all of us. After all, a well designed home provides the shelter that we need; a quality office space makes clients feel welcome and becomes a representation of the business it houses; a guest room and service area either make us feel welcome or uneasy. Design makes the difference.
Building codes and an overly cost driven clientele frequently dictate the project design and the contractor, rather than the architect is consulted and hired first. Ah yes, the permit! Too often architects are reduced to provide the bare minimum required for the builder to obtain their building permit and start to deliver the cheapest possible option at the maximum profit. The design input is guided by cost, rather than benefit and the role of the architect becomes a sideline to the construction process.
In reality a good architect can help in proper programming, coordinate design features to best match the client needs and budget and will likely help to eliminate many potential problems during construction. In this manner, the project will be the best possible option and fit for the most value; good design included.
Everyone deserved an architect! Indeed we do. Talk to people who have done projects through the builder as well as with an architect. The majority of feedback will be positive towards the latter (there are bad professionals in every profession, but as a whole, our rigorous training creates very competent individuals…). Your trusted Architect can also help with selecting and directing the builder, to create even more value for your project and bottom line.
Thinking about your next project? Start with interviewing both builders and architects and consider the true value of what you are getting.
The above are my personal views and some of my colleagues may not agree with me. I am always interested in dialogue. Please do not hesitate to contact me. Sebastian@SebastianEilert.com 786.556.3118