What state and local government clients want from you:

1. Bring your best game to the party.
2. Reduce client risk, establish ironclad trust.
3. Be patient, but be prepared for delays.
4. Learn to work within regulatory constraints.
5. Help state and local government clients solve their funding problems.
6. Be open to using new alternative delivery methods.
7. Be wary about fees, but don’t assume you’ll be exploited.
8. Push the right local hot buttons.
9. Go for the dough—“essential services.”

Most of us think of memory as a chamber of the mind, and assume that our capacity to remember is only as good as our brain. But according to some architectural theorists, our memories are products of our body’s experience of physical space. Or, to consolidate the theorem: Our memories are only as good as our buildings.


From the article:

What I find ironic is the fact that most architects and developers fail to have long lasting symbiotic relationships. After all, developers hold the potential to become frequent repeat clients.  Depending on the type of work that the developer is building, it can be a great way for an architect to repeatedly express their architectural style. On the other side of the equation, the architect can help streamline the design process and lower the developers construction cost after a stable relationship is formed.  A win/win partnership can be formed.”

If you love Ron Swanson and books, you’ll love this. via scribnerbooks

Throughout history, aspiring architects have always worked with a “master architect.” Today we call them mentors, the professionals who help the newbies and interns learn by doing.

While the economic roller-coaster has savaged design firms around the country, the tradition of mentoring has expanded during the recession, say architects.”

thisbigcity: This is Europe’s tallest building. But will the next skyscraper be made of wood?

thisbigcity: This is Europe’s tallest building. But will the next skyscraper be made of wood?

(Source: thisbigcity)

Architect-Developers: An Example of Vertical Integration in the Design and Building Industry

U. S. architects have responded in various ways to the economic downturn that currently plagues the country. Some architectural firms have released staff proportionate to the loss of workload, while others have found work in other industries. A select few have refused to accept the meager quantity and quality of projects that are available to them and have begun to create projects for themselves by taking on the traditional role of the developer.

While this appears on its surface to be a big leap for a profession that has seen its scope of services narrowed by related industries over the past several decades, early adopters have reported that the jump was actually less of a hurdle than you might anticipate. Architects have long been key players on development teams, regularly coordinating design and construction efforts (along with the CM/ general contractor) right from the earliest stages of the planning process. Many have also been involved in preparing schematic planning documents, crafting opinions of probable construction costs, and coordinating environmental investigations and reporting. The enhanced role of architect-developer folds in additional consultants including experts in upfront due diligence tasks and financing specialists. The largest hurdle of this expanded role for the traditional architect is most likely to be the process of procuring financing through investors and lending agencies. But those early adopters advise that this should deter motivated architects from pursuing this endeavor.

Here are a few generally accepted “pros” and “cons” of the architect-developer business model:

Pros for Architect-Developers:

  • Control (or a higher degree of control) over project design, schedule, and scope.
  • More flexibility to implement progressive strategies (sustainability, urban livingexperiments, etc).
  • Less reliance on outside economic factors and swings in building “booms”.
  • Provides a more visible platform for architects to promote profession and share talents.

Cons for Architect-Developers:

  • Increased financial risk.
  • Potential reliance on equity partner / funding source.
  • Modern segmentation of professions will likely require multiple licenses/registrations/insurance policies to operate design and development business.

If this business model is of interest to you, we recommended that you consult with a couple of professionals in the development and contracting arenas to find out more about the “ins and outs” of their industries and opportunities for a hybrid architect-developer in your region.