On architects and value
Hello! Thanks for checking in with the another architecture + interiors blog!
In this post we wanted to consider the idea of architects and value, as in the value that they bring to your project, and the design process as a whole. Of course, being and architect and the author of this post, we may sound a little biased. But stay with us and you'll see there are some big, very reasonable points to consider...
ARCHITECTS HAVE VALUABLE DESIGN SKILLS
Let's start with the obvious one. To qualify as an architect, which is a legally protected title, we have to undertake at least 7 years of accredited university and practice training. Following this, many architects work in a variety of practices before specialising in a particular field, accruing experience and skills along the way which are specific to that area. A huge part of the job is the ability to 'problem solve' when faced with a design conundrum, and it's very likely that once an architect specialises in a particular field, such as domestic architecture, they've built up multiple ways to 'solve' a particular design challenge along the way, creatively and amongst various constraints. All this experience is channelled into the solution to your project brief.
ARCHITECTS 'SPARK JOY'
Architects can help you organise your life on a level that goes way beyond how your clothes are tidied and arranged. No one else can design a space that brings absolute joy to the people that interact with it. Whether it's a space to organise and display your ukulele collection, or an integrated cat/dog bed underneath the stairs, or a slot window positioned just right so that you get a framed view of the Japanese Cherry Blossom tree in the garden every time you go up the stairs...Architects are skilled at working out what makes you tick and translating that into a design that enhances how you live in ways you might not yet have imagined.
ARCHITECTS CAN SEE THE BIGGER PICTURE
This is particularly useful. As we've discussed in the ABOUT section, and in our SERVICES, there's an entire design process to navigate and many, many people involved in it - the other members of the design team, planning officers, specialists, builders...Architects are skilled in having an ability to see how all of this comes together as a bigger picture, not least in terms of knowing which specialist's input is required where, and when. In the context of the project's timescale, and time constraints, this is crucial. Of course architects are also pivotal in understanding where the client fits in this bigger picture, and ensuring that every move made relates back to the brief and the client's key requirements.
ARCHITECTS ARE GOOD NEGOTIATORS
Following on from the above - there are many occasions in a project where the right words need to be used in a conversation, and there may only be one chance to get that right. This is particularly true in conversations with planning officers, where architects may have to negotiate your planning application using policies and facts and explain how the design complies, or where policies provide scope for design, and so on. We have a good working relationship with Local Authorities and truly believe in the role they play in our collaborative approach as a studio. The same applies when we're speaking with the other members of the design team, such as the structural engineer, and Building Control - architects are skilled at coordinating and interpreting information and creating opportunities where there may sometimes be constraints. This team-based approach is pivotal in the success of your project.
There are many other points to add here, and we'd like to elaborate on them another time! In the meantime please get in touch if you have a project you'd like to discuss. We look forward to speaking with you.
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