Among the primary job descriptions of an architect is that of problem-solver. By that, what we mean to say is that we are opportunity-creators, for that is the end result of resolving a design problem.
In preparing impromptu remarks at an informal breakfast business meeting recently, I penciled out a thumbnail inventory of a few of the problems I’d been called upon to resolve in the previous week. Within a minute I’d come up with a short list of six items that come up as relevant and significant talking points.
Without going into detail, I’d like to briefly share that short list:
Case #1: We were called upon to help a client decide whether it was cost effective to proceed with a new application for a commercial development permit.
Case #2: We conducted an initial meeting to help a prospective client sort out how to proceed with a sagging floor system and how best to embark on a program of foundation repair.
Case #3: We educated a client as to the life-safety aspects and code ramifications attending to enclosing a commercial courtyard with an entry trellis and gate, and helping sort out how best to proceed.
Case #4: We assisted a married couple not quite seeing eye-to-eye about the configuration of an residential remodel, sorted the problem into two alternative options, and then reached consensus by reasoning through the salient points.
Case #5: We convened an initial consultation between a contractor and the owner’s representative. By filtering through the likely locations to locate a solar water heating/ parking structure at the site, narrowing it down to the two best candidates, we then help them deduce the most optimum solution.
Case #6: We examined a lapsed permit application for a 6-unit apartment complex, sorting through the code updates attending reapplication of for permits, and furnishing the prospective client a responsible proposal for architectural services in support of the project.
The point is, architects are approached to resolve these sorts of challenges each and every day of the year, 365 days per year, and for architects with experience, for very many years on end.
By virtue of doing this so consistently and frequently, the best architects perform this activity really well, with the highest likelihood of producing the highest rewards while avoiding unnecessary risk in the utilization of construction dollars.
Resolving a problem creates opportunities: architectural solutions are value-added. And for the best architectural solutions, hire the best.