Work vs play?


Me- mid-30s single female client... Him- 50s smart sexy architect for my residential project... How normal is it to have a major crush on your architect? If the interest is mutual are there any professional rules against flirting.. or whatever? And how does one draw a clean line between billable hours and recreational activities that don't relate to the work?  I could listen to him talk about our shared hobbies all day, but I don't think I can afford to pay for the pleasure :)

Jan 12, 20 3:26 pm

I'd say it's pretty common, here's a few (in)famous examples:

If you are really tryin to make something happen - 1. check if he is single or not and 2. wait until your project is done - or fire him and hire someone else!

Jan 12, 20 4:17 pm

i can just HEER the 1st chord of "Fell in Love with a Cadmonk(í)

Jan 12, 20 4:42 pm

don't get why women like old dudes

Jan 12, 20 9:38 pm

If you're male, just wait a while.

Non Sequitur

As long as his T-Square still works well... AMIRIGHT ladies?


Does he do erection drawings?


I have a good detail for shaving the nuts


pics or it didn't happen

Jan 13, 20 8:57 am



this made my day. i hope it's some kind of trick on us.

Jan 13, 20 1:29 pm

The name of the book and architect escape me, but there's a fairly contemporary biography/memoir of a residential architect with a chapter devoted to this phenomena (cliche?)  He tells a story about a female client sending him a whip, a stool, and a top hat, so he can play "lion tamer".

Jan 13, 20 3:05 pm

That book is "Confessions of a Country Architect" by Don Metz.


sounds erotic 

Jan 13, 20 7:19 pm

Totally normal. Every client I have falls in love with me. It's one of the more annoying parts of the job, having to swat away unprofessional advances day in and day out, from women & men alike.

Jan 13, 20 7:34 pm

I worked in a fairly male dominated office as an intern and one of the principles ( mid 40's ) was divorced, regularly on the prowl and often had to sleep under his drawing table to recover from his last nights excapades.  He often referred to the "ultimate sacrifice" he made when he had to sleep with woman that could be potential clients.  It was a different era but he did keep the office entertained with his stories.

Jan 13, 20 7:47 pm
atelier nobody

Women of a certain age range grew up believing Mike Brady was the perfect husband and, knowing little to nothing else about us, assume we're all like him. Many dreams have been crushed when they found out the truth.

Jan 13, 20 8:09 pm

That show was cancelled in the early seventies so women of that "certain age" would mostly be >50. The OP, in her 30s, is more likely to have been influenced by Ted Moseby than Mike Brady.

atelier nobody

True. This comment wasn't specifically about the OP.


However, it was on syndication well into the 1980s and maybe into the early 90s.


Sure, but it was hopelessly dated even by the late 70s. Non-architects younger than Boomers would have more recent sources on which to base their stereotypes. I'm in my 50s and think more to Indecent Proposal and thirtysomething for the pop-culture architect stereotypes of even my generation.


Sponty, I agree with you in your key point. While I am familiar or aware of the Brady's Bunch TV show on TV, it wasn't a show that I spent as much time watching as other TV while growing up. Even though it was on syndication, I would think with all the TV channels of options for shows to watch, my generation and those younger would have other shows they would turn the TV channel to to watch so yeah, I would agree with your essential point. I'm just indicating a factual fact that you may have omitted in that the show was still on TV via syndication but to be clear, I do agree with your essential point.


Balkins the "factual fact" is that the show has been on continuously, right up to this day. The issue isn't whether someone has ever seen it, it's whether it would be meaningful in forming expectations about architects. Anybody viewing that show beyond the mid 70s woukd be doing so ironically, or for nostalgia. Architects in more recent decades have usually been portrayed less steady family-oriented types than MikeBrady, and more as financially desperate and morally bankrupt (Indecent Proposal, Intersection) or as tempestuously and impulsively creative or romantic (Ted Mosby, Charlie Banks).


Fair enough on the "factual fact" as it is probably true at least somewhere. Aside from that, I agree with your point in that architects have been presented more like unsavory bunch then the ways it used to be but then back in the time when Brady Bunch show was originally on the air, FCC had regulated TV show content and it was required that ALL TV shows be child friendly and in general presented as education tools of moral behaviors as acceptable of the society of the times. 

Since the 1970s and 80s, and so forth, TV shows no longer are regulated like that except over the air stations and only then it would be in censoring vulgarity that is broadcasted. These days, our culture wants vulgarity and wants violence on our shows, explosions, blood and guts, and so forth. We don't care about morality and "family values" or "values" other than that we can do whatever we want but not be hurt by others. Like you said, it is that moral bankruptcy which reflects our culture's moral bankruptcy that is pervasive. 

Now, I know that's broad brush and that between the broad strokes are those that have morals and values but the wide swath of moral bankruptcy has led us to moral bankruptcy in our governmental leadership which I think we will not want to dive into on this thread. 

I think you have a good point in the sources where our younger generations have for the pop culture stereotypes. The brady bunch is too disconnected from the contemporary pop-culture and its moral bankruptcy that is reflected in a culture of youth born and growing up without parents. I can get into that but I think it is best to be in another thread.


"Me- mid-30s single female client... Him- 50s smart sexy architect for my residential project... How normal is it to have a major crush on your architect? If the interest is mutual are there any professional rules against flirting.. or whatever? And how does one draw a clean line between billable hours and recreational activities that don't relate to the work?  I could listen to him talk about our shared hobbies all day, but I don't think I can afford to pay for the pleasure :)"

It would not be professional or proper as these things can result in a conflict of interest issues that may compromise the professional's judgment. If he is married, you should not pursue intimate relationship. Now, I know there isn't necessarily detailed laws or rules enforced by the architectural licensing boards that explicitly refers to this. However, it would be an unusual case. 

If the person is single and is attracted to you and the feelings are mutual, I would suggest that both of you maintain an "arm's length" position in maintaining professional decorum while the professional services are being rendered. However, once that is done and completed, the two of you can pursue intimate relationship without the specter of conflict of interest in the professional services and the interests of intimate relationship. 

Courts and case history which maybe applied to the architect or any professional may stem from other professions like lawyers, psychologists, etc. The customs of these professions would often require the lawyer or the psychologist to discontinue his or her role as the lawyer or psychologist for his or her client if they wish to pursue the relationship. This may be expected of architects, designers, etc. providing professional services and when these kinds of matters comes up. Either they have to reject advances as tduds has mentioned or discontinue the relationship as architect/designer/etc. for the project. This may not be so clear cut in the architecture profession. 

Some famous architects have had intimate relationships with their clients. I think there are historic cases regarding this kind of matter but it isn't something I have seen talked about by the professional associations like the AIA in recent years other then stuff arisen out of the #metoo movement which is different. 

I would recommend maintaining a professionalism between you and the architect and between the architect and you while the project is on-going. Once the project is complete, the both of you may mutually pursue an intimate relationship if the both of you so chooses.

Jan 13, 20 10:27 pm



have you found any standard contracts with personal relationships as an additional service?


Maybe we just have to ask the AIP.


Thanks to everyone for the feedback.  Aside from avoiding actual romantic involvement, what are the norms for architect-client interaction?  The personal disclosure necessitated by the design process is surprisingly intimate; I am not sure whether to read affectionate reciprocation as an indication of interest or as a professional effort to put me at ease and help the project along?  If we share a leisurely dinner and drinks after a site visit would that be a perfectly normal business outing or would it imply openness to something else?  

Jan 13, 20 11:59 pm

Homes consists of bother personal/private spaces and that of "public" spaces where your guests maybe such as the living room. Understanding how people live their lives is important for any professional designing homes in order to make it work. 

Yes, you should try to read this as a professional expressing an interest in the project meeting your needs and for him to understand how you live so the spaces are arranged in the best manner to fit your lifestyle. It can be surprisingly intimate even if intimate relationship is not intended. It can sometimes hard to tell if the architect has a personal interest in pursuing an intimate relationship with you or if they are trying to understand how you live your life in order to design the home according to how you live or life and use the spaces in your home. 

As a building designer, it is one of the hardest part of the profession to maintain professional distance yet show that you care and being personable. Designing a person's home involves engaging into the dialog of how people live and subject matter that is more "personal" than it might be if I was designing a small office building or a dental office or an office for a lawyer. 

What you will find is a variety of answers to what are the norms for architect-client interaction. I would note for others to keep in mind the context of designing homes vs larger commercial projects where the atmosphere would feel less intimate. 

The venue of a leisurely dinner and drinks should be considered. Professionally, I usually avoid having dinners with clients especially if it could be misinterpreted as dating especially if it was just me and the client (especially if the client is female). 

I do agree that it is customary in the home design process, that there is personal disclosure necessitated by the design process given the particular personal and private nature of homes.

Wood Guy (Mike Maines)

Wait until your project is done and then do whatever you want. If you act on your impulses now it will get messy.

It is relatively normal--my former boss once told me that part of his sales approach is to be either the husband or the father that our mostly-female clientele wished they had. He was good at it, too. 

Non Sequitur

I believe we need full disclosure on these necessary personal disclosures of yours. Without them, how can we best address this issue?


Thanks N.S. and Wood Guy for backing up what I am saying in less words.


Both can be true.

Chad Miller

Don't screw your architect, pay the fee.  

Jan 14, 20 1:20 pm

I second that. If the architect is delivering the services and produces good results and charges reasonably then I agree with Chad in paying the architect's fee.


I can't tell if this is a deadpan Norm MacDonald delivery (in which case, brilliant) , or if some forests were missed during the tree visit.


Welp I'm reading Rick's posts in Norms voice now. Thank you for this stroke of genius.

Chad Miller

I assume it's all in a Norm's voice but several forests where still missed.


I thought this was about me, but then I saw "residential architect".

Jan 14, 20 4:09 pm
Chad Miller

Try to use your power for good old man.


first post for an account that was opened in Mar 2019?


Jan 14, 20 5:36 pm

Why women like old dudes or just love those big house

Jan 15, 20 2:09 am

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