Noticed something about the architecture industry


I have never once seen anything about actual cooperation-every single thing i've ever read on here comes from an individual willing to cut throats to get ahead

Sep 16, 23 8:08 pm
Non Sequitur

you need to read more... and also, you need to spend some actual time in this profession since you have not a single minute of experience.  Wait, ignore than one, please run away from architecture instead... we'll all be better off this way.

Sep 16, 23 8:36 pm  · 
2  · 
Wood Guy

Your observations are flawed. My world of design is full of cooperation.

I'm good friends with and trade info daily with my closest competitor; we even wrote a book together. We also co-host a Zoom show with over 100 episodes where we share information, all for no cost. In fact I pay over $1K a year for our website and Mailchimp subscription. We don't have sponsors or take any money. Our show has spawned over 30 local groups and four annual building science seminars around North America. The seminars have carefully vetted sponsors so admission is low cost and all proceeds go to charity. 

I recently asked another competitor what finishes they used on a project that was on a magazine cover, because my clients liked them. Within an hour they had responded with the exact finishes, including the formula for their custom paint mix. 

Last week I asked a competitor who is more into Passive House stuff than I am if he could help me on a project, which he agreed to. 

You need to get out more, and develop a more positive mindset.

Sep 17, 23 11:34 am  · 
5  · 
Non Sequitur

Did you forget who you were replying too?

Sep 17, 23 1:05 pm  · 
Wood Guy

No, apparently I just needed to brag a bit or something ;-)

Sep 19, 23 12:57 pm  · 
1  · 

Weird, I tend to agree, there's a lot of enmity in this profession. I think it depends on the community though. I've found that many people are gripping to tight to dumb shit.

Sep 17, 23 12:15 pm  · 
3  ·  1

You can literally go down just a few threads to see a thread that is centered around someone complaining about their coworker only to get almost exclusively rebuffed by the forum for not being a good team player. 

Sep 17, 23 12:28 pm  · 
1  · 

Architects are like the proverbial bucket of crabs. Lots are leading lives of quiet desperation knowing that the “lowly” trades putting their buildings together make twice as much as they do (but I’m important, I’m the architect!). So they can’t stand to see another crab climbing higher than they do. This is largely caused by architects being terrible at business and the race to the bottom, regarding fee structure, is point-in-case. Many even do competitions and feasibility studies for free. Can you imagine holding a competition for lawyers to submit their ideas for your court case with $1000 dollar prize? Hah! And why would architects have any financial and business acumen? They certainly don’t teach it in school or university. So when a crab does make it out of the bucket they do try to help, so they’re brought into a university to give a presentation on their work or teach a studio how to “think outside the box” (we’re certainly not lowly builders giving the market what it demands), not how to run a successful practice. 

Sep 17, 23 5:01 pm  · 
5  ·  1
Wood Guy

I just read another post of yours where you state that your solution is to provide free design services and mark up construction to make up for it. While a creative idea, how is that different than entering design competitions to win your work? It seems pretty similar to me. 

Sep 20, 23 9:48 am  · 
2  · 

Seem very similar to me. Also seems rather shady - you tell the client you're not charging for design fees then charge them for design fees buy lie and call it something else? Shady.

Sep 20, 23 10:01 am  · 
2  · 

I’m highly certain this is it new to the profession. In fact I heard the exact same thing from a design builder on the entrearchitect podcast lamenting they should have charged because people shopped around his design. Also, providing services for free and charging in the back end is very common practice in this profession. In fact it’s why my previous employer lost a RFP because another firm was much cheaper on the design end but much more expensive on the construction admin side. Please tell me the difference. If I take this thought experiment a bit further would charging $1 for design be better than free? Na. I’m just solving for the problem that the majority clients dont see the value in lines on paper. Theyd rather spend it on the physical thing. Plus my project delivery model saves them money anyway. I’m just doing it without having to bill the client responding to knuckle head contractors trying to kill the design for their own gain.

Sep 21, 23 9:48 pm  · 
 ·  1
Wood Guy

I worked at a residential design/build firm for over ten years and my boss there loved to do design work for free--he'd have us measure and record existing conditions, do site research and develop schematic designs, all for free, to "prove to the client" that we were committed and a good value. More often than not we'd lose the sale, usually because our construction rates were a little higher than our competitors'. (Business 101: if you give something away, its perceived value in the market is lower than it would be if you charged a fair rate for it.)

Once I was promoted to director of design, I changed that practice, we got paid for our work and clients respected our process. I could go on but in my experience it's not an effective strategy.

In the 8+ years I've been on my own, I have charged for my time and I'm consistently busy, charging at least as much as most of my competitors; only the ones who do a lot of advertising charge more than I do.

Sep 25, 23 11:15 am  · 
1  · 

It takes a team of consultants to design a building.  I spend every single day coordinating with a team of people; Mechanical, structural, electrical, fire protection, and civil at the very least. 

Sep 19, 23 1:11 pm  · 
1  · 

yeah but when do you ever hear anybody on here talking about "the firm" in like a bragging manner?

Sep 20, 23 12:40 pm  · 
 ·  3

All the time. Every single firm I've worked at except for one. That one firm I only worked at for a month.

Sep 20, 23 1:19 pm  · 
1  · 

People come to the forums to complain about stuff, rarely do we come here to brag about things. So what you see here is not a true snip it of real life.

Sep 20, 23 6:47 pm  · 
3  · 

mission critical wrote: 

 “If I take this thought experiment a bit further would charging $1 for design be better than free? Na. I’m just solving for the problem that the majority clients dont see the value in lines on paper. Theyd rather spend it on the physical thing.

If your client thinks a design is just ‘lines on paper’ then:

  1. They don’t value your services or you. 
  2. They don’t understand what you’re doing.  
  3. Your designs are horrible. 

Possibly all three.  You can fix #2 and #3.  Not charging them for your services isn't going to change #1. 

 Good luck with those clients.

Sep 25, 23 1:24 pm  · 

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