The Life of an Architect – Part 1 : Communication
As Architects we are passionate about our profession – we must be, as becoming an Architect takes a long and demanding period of study and practical training before we can legally use the title. Architects understand the process of building but our role extends much further than design. We need to be great communicators.
We work with a range of different Clients, couples extending their home for growth, families building their forever home, the new generation taking over the family estate. For me, meeting new people is part of my job enjoyment. I like hearing people’s stories, learning about their profession and lifestyle, gaining an insight into their values and discovering why they are embarking on a building project.
I particularly enjoy working with private residential Clients as there isn’t a building more important than a person’s own home. Client’s describe their habits and daily routine as they tell me who they are, what they like, what they don’t like, and most importantly what they want to achieve with their project. This discussion outlines a Client’s expectations and helps me understand how I can assist.
A thorough and informative design brief is important as it is the interface between Client and Architect and the starting point for any design. I listen as Client’s outline their aspirations for the project and I ask questions to prompt thoughts and decisions. The more information we gain from the Client in the early stages, the more effective the design process will be.
Clients communicate their needs which we translate into spatial and technical solutions. We combine our Client’s requirements with our vision and convey these in graphic and descriptive ways. Architects relish the opportunity to be creative when providing solutions. But designs are susceptible to change and Architects must possess the ability to think rationally and, in some occasions, impartially.
A project relies on collaborative working, not only with Clients, but other related professionals in the design team. Architects have a good understanding of multiple disciplines and there is always opportunity to learn from others. We share knowledge bringing our expertise and experience together to progress ideas when working towards a final solution.
A good working relationship between Architect and Client is crucial to the success of any project. The best projects come from understanding and mutual trust, knowing each other’s role and responsibilities. For some Clients the process can be daunting and challenges can be stressful, but we will guide them through each stage. A pivotal moment in a working relationship is when a Client has trust in our professional opinion.
Most Architects know what it takes to design and construct a building, but there is more to the life of an Architect. Communication skills are imperative, so let’s talk!
Check back early July for the next installment.