Is outsourcing of Architectural Design Projects, Good or Bad?

3E Solutions

I always question myself-Is outsourcing of Architectural Design Projects, Good or Bad?

Architecture is mostly affected by culture, history & demographic region. Is outsourcing- a designing project a advantageous- to gain a diversified look to the product & completely different thinking which is not evolved through the local culture or history? Or it's really bad to be different amongst others?

Being in the outsourcing company I really think this topic should be discussed very often. I would like to know what people think & how they will react to the design which is alien to them or does not reflect their thinking or way of life?

Of course I would like the blend of different cultures & histories in 3E's designs? I would love to see the pagoda's in Europe or a Italian architecture in India. But I'm interested in your opinions...So please comment.

Thanks for your patience!!

Mar 3, 08 8:01 am

outsourcing is.

for good or bad, i think we'll see it happening more and more. some will learn how to leverage it in a positive way, others will abuse it.

it's just another fact of contemporary life.

Mar 3, 08 8:22 am

It just depends on the quality of the company that does the design. I don't think the nationality is as important as the skills and talents of those doing the work.

OMA is outsourced from Beijing, Hadid outsourced from Cincinnati, etc., etc.

Mar 3, 08 8:34 am
liberty bell

trace raises a good point. A great architect can do great design work anywhere.

I think the bigger question, that comes before outsourcing*, is whether regional appropriateness is an important goal across all cultures and places. I would say for some projects appropriate regional/cultural issues are critical, and the architect who undertakes those projects needs to either have a native understanding OR be a fantastic researcher and skilled at evoking cultural mores (aka a great designer).

*Defining outsourcing as "hiring an architect from somewhere else" not "sending production labor to wherever it's cheapest". That's a vastly different topic that I may be muddying by responding to trace's comment.

Mar 3, 08 8:53 am
Sir Arthur Braagadocio

i think outsourcing architecture is tough, unless its a copy-paste typical design.
cad monkey production stuff, is usually a pain in the ass unless you've worked with outsourcer before.
rendering easy.

Mar 3, 08 9:37 am

Trace and Liberty Bell have nailed what I was thinking.

However, from an economic point of view:
(Economic concerning citizens, not the government), outsourcing is only "good" if the commissioned architect is better than all ("all" being as close as one can get to proof of ability/potential of "all" domestic architects) the domestic architects who are willing to take on the project.
If I were spending my dollars (a consumer), it would be pretty tempting to just dial up the "best" architect and give him/her the work.
Yet, if I were writing a 'check made cashable by taxes' (the government), or just an economically aware citizen working to be mindful of our in recession/near recession economy, I would try very hard to employ a domestic architect (and encourage the employment of the “best” in all fields, domestic however frequent the “best” are domestic).

From a design point of view:

"Architecture is mostly affected by culture, history & demographic region", while that statement is pretty close to, if not fact, a good designer is a good designer, and socially aware, I’m not really sure if that’s a ‘real’ worry.
An important component of design (in my opinion) is also evolution and innovation, (not that I don't believe in preservation and all our 'historical rows' and historical zoning) but maybe some buildings need to be just 'plopped' down where a designer sees fit...

“Or it's really bad to be different amongst others?” To some, but everything will always be something to some…

Maybe now I'm on a different issue, but that’s partly why art galleries (namely, political and intellectual galleries), fashion shows, and architecture competitions exists; to express the design that people don’t see as practical, needed, or possible; because of the ‘technicalities’ that are placed on design. (…not that I’m a COMPLETE design-anarchist…)

“I would like to know what people think & how they will react to the design which is alien to them or does not reflect their thinking or way of life?”

There is an appreciation for variety in a space of continuity
I think though, if I were to see something totally different that broke up a uniform or ‘themed’ area but it was an excellent design, the design execution would really override the mix/match aspect, and as we all know, sometimes, mix/match isn’t “mix/match”, it’s more of an intervention on the area, and it works!

Mar 4, 08 9:09 am


SCROLL DOWN TO "Learn "Entertainment Charisma" from Frank Gehry"

WATCH THE CLIP from aprocx. 10:50-13:10 to hear what he has to say about his outsourcing request and collaboration; "liquid architecture and jazz".

I think he brought an interesting perspective to the subject of outsourcing and 'outsource collaboration' in terms of what it's like for an architect (not for its expirienc-er's like you're asking but nevertheless, it was interesting).

Keep listening if you wanna hear that "Bilbao did not leak!"

* - 34k gives the video and text version

Mar 4, 08 1:04 pm

“Outsourcing”, that’s a great idea, let’s see, first we outsourced the construction, then we outsourced surveying, then land planning, then landscape design, then civil engineering, then electrical, plumbing, HVAC, wayfinding, graphic design…..may as well get rid of the last thing we do and get back to complaining full time about not make enough money.

Jul 22, 15 12:12 pm

at some point I will outsource my life and GTFO

Jul 22, 15 12:51 pm

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