What Does an Architect Do?


Let's face it, architecture is a complex business.  Ever since I decided to study architecture way back in 2006, I have gotten a wide variety of reactions to the subject.  As a junior in high school, I had almost no idea of what an architect did aside from a vague notion that they might design buildings.  Even so, I had no idea what went in to designing a building and had yet to realize how complicated and time consuming it really was.  

Within the year, I was met with a few misconceptions of what an architect was, or at least what they were perceived to be.  I have been told how architect's are too artistic from an engineer, or too rigid from an artist, or even too unreliable from a business owner.  I walked away from these encounters with a firm resolve to be neither of those views of an architect but, of course, I still didn't know.  Thankfully, as time moved on, I studied types of architecture that helped me discover my passion and I talked to architects that helped me determine the kind of architect I wanted to be.

The fact of the matter is, architecture, more than anything else, is a process and a process can be short and straight-forward or it can be long and complicated.  Architecture is a process that can lay anywhere on that spectrum because it is the process of designing and constructing the built environment. Architects are essentially responsible for helping the client formulate a plan for their building and then helping them to clarify that plan and see it to completion.  It is because of this role that the process they oversee really is dependent on how they operate.


The second part of architecture, that I really only learned since coming to FORMation, is that architecture is a service.  It's a relationship between the architect and the client and it relies heavily  on what each brings to the table and what each expects to walk away from table carrying.  Each will bring their own set of experiences and knowledge and each will expect a certain level of work in return and its best to understand what you, as the client, is seeking so that you can find the best possible match in your architect.

At FORMation Architecture, we maintain a high level of communication throughout the process with the client, the contractor, and any subcontractors brought onto the project.  We like to know what the client wants and how they plan on using their building so that we can give them a product that will meet their needs and exceed their expectations.  I have found that Craig's experience in the construction industry really helps the conversation because he can be realistic about what is possible and feasible.  I have seen a few unexpected design moves on his part that the client just loves and we're able to see it through to construction because Craig has the expertise to know that what he's proposed can be built easily and within budget.

Of course, if you really want to know how a project breaks down and what kinds of drawings we're able to produce for the client and the contractors, we have put together a booklet explaining the process.  Feel free to look at it HERE.

Kristin VanderlandComment