Architecture and Design Management


Hello, I'm a new architecture graduate and I'm currently looking for graduate jobs, which as you can imagine is extremely difficult atm. I came across Design Management which apparently was a pathway for Architecture grads to being a Project Manager in a construction firm - which is kind of the goal.

So I was just wondering what exactly do design managers do that architects don't and vice versa? What are the main functional differences between these two? I've tried googling it and I'm honestly just as lost as I initially was.

Jan 24, 21 3:14 pm

I've never heard of a "Design Manager" role personally. But in my experience, a Project Manager within an arch firm is most typically going to be a licensed architect (although not necessarily) who has enough experience to manage a project team in order to get a project complete. I've never heard of anyone who becomes a PM straight out of architecture school unless it's like you're a fresh grad working for some guy out of his house, then maybe he'll let you play pretend PM for a while. PMs have to know about the realities of cost and time for both designing a project, and at least the construction knowledge of what's expected from an architect in general (including assemblies, costs, general timeline expectations, etc.), contract agreements and associated roles, responsibilities, and risks of all parties involved, how to read, interpret, and communicate various information from engineers, clients, contractors, and the design team, fees, billing, budgeting, permitting...just about everything you'd need to know to run a project by yourself. THEN you can be a PM at most firms.

Jan 25, 21 2:45 pm  · 
1  · 

As far as the difference between PM and (e.g.) PA, "Project Architect", usually if they're two separate people, then the PM is worried about billing hours of the design team, scheduling, and coordination between the design team, the contractors, the city, engineers, and the field...whereas the PA is going to be worried about designing the project itself...drawings, details, actual design, specifications, etc.


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