what the..? who the..? how the..?

ever wonder how some atrocities end up being built? sure, there’s taste – but taste aside, some buildings are just wrong and such can often be quantified; not so much by aesthetic factors (as they are indeed very subjective), but more so by functional arrangements, utilisation of natural lighting, proportionate form, etc.

so how do these monsters come to be? there are likely a number of contributing factors, but one we in the industry tend to see rather often is the ‘interference’ factor.

when someone is ill, they go to a doctor. they tell the doctor what’s wrong with them and the doctor attempts a diagnosis based in part on the symptoms presented by the patient together with his or her experience in the medical field. the doctor may or may not proceed in writing a prescription, but most certainly the doctor will prescribe the next course of action, even if such is only a referral to a specialist. ideally the patient does not tell the doctor what to prescribe or think that they have the unwavering ability to self diagnose. but while we say the patient probably shouldn’t, we all know that the patient very often does just that.

a client-architect relationship isn’t all too different from the above mentioned example. a client should tell their architect their needs, not dictate designs and arrangements. once the architect has the clients needs in hand, the architect can couple those needs with his or her experience and deliver the client a quality design. sure, this may take iterations. but if after several iterations you find yourself in the position of wanting to dictate the design arrangement to your architect, you’d probably be best to find another architect. simply put, if your architect is unable to extrapolate from your requirements and his or her experience, a design that tickles your fancy, then you’re probably not well suited. ‘interfering’ by telling your architect ‘i want it this way and that way’ makes you the architect – which you’re probably not.

remember, whatever your architect puts in front of you, they should be able to justify and explain the logical rationale behind every aspect of their design.

so..

  • choose an architect carefully
  • express your needs fully
  • trust your architect’s experience

… and help rid the world of architectural monsters making their way through to construction..