What do architects do?

Architects create a framework for people’s livesMosman1_sm4

through the design of the buildings that people live in and work in.

Design is mainly a mental activity – it is about understanding light, space, structure and order.

The work of the architect is to organise, rationally, to make a new reality – in sometimes difficult situations with possibly contentious results. We are then able to communicate it to people along the way who may either be resistant to the project or who need to be reorganised. The architect provides the technical expertise to give a physical form to the client’s aspirations, hopes, ambitions.

The work of the architect could be regarded as considering something that’s complicated, thinking laterally about it, and involving a lot of other people. What we are really doing:

  • investigating
  • guiding
  • analysing
  • suggesting
  • giving options
  • solving
  • anticipating
  • advocating…

What an architect doesn’t do

An architect is not a building designer, or a draughtsperson. The architect’s purpose in life is not to draw plans or detail construction of buildings to make the builder’s job easy or to suit his normal habits. Architects do not deal with standard solutions, but rather best practice. The architect’s work may result in a building which does things differently to usual builder practice, with particular gains for the client in mind.
Architects do more than just provide drawings to clients to visualise design ideas, to get council approval and to communicate with other consultants and the builder. It’s the architect’s job to be an advocate for their client to make sure that the client’s wants, needs, desires and budget can all be brought together on a project.

It’s the architect’s job to be an advocate for their client

It’s also the architect’s job to make sure that not only does the client’s project function the way they want, but that the home is a solid investment for them in the future, through:

  • sensible siting and planning,
  • intelligent design minimising energy usage over time, and
  • building with durable materials.

The capital cost of their environmental features can be saved many times over in the lower operating costs through the life cycle of the building.

See our other posts on what an architect can bring to your project.

by Peter HillMosman1_sm5