What do Architects do?
Most people don’t really know what architects do on a day to day basis. Perhaps you have a vague notion that architects make napkin sketches sitting in sleek, low-lit bars playing jazz piano and a few months later fabulous buildings like the Guggenheim in Bilbao by Frank Gehry or the Bullet Building by Norman Foster manifest from that sketch.
This is not entirely true, there are a number of people and processes missing from that scenario. A lot of things happen between the napkin sketch and when the doors of a building open and that stretch is where the modern practice of architecture resides, for the most part.
Why do you need to know about this? Because the more you understand what architects do, the more effectively you can engage with the process, demand better, and have more say in the built environment around you whether you’re a client, a community stakeholder, an end user or just a passerby.
In today’s world of stringent permitting requirements, multiple stakeholders and tight budgets and timelines, getting buildings built becomes a very complicated process. To help you wrap your head around it, I’ve broken the process down into five essential parts: