A Few Reminders

I work in the world of commercial architecture.  Whether it is a big or small project, the client usually has a pretty good idea of what they want in the end.  In fact they’ve typically been through this entire process a few times before.  They know the contracts involved, they’ve seen a set of construction documents or two, and they’ve been involved in the construction process.  You wouldn’t think there was much more they would need to know from a clients perspective.  Maybe, maybe not, but everyone could do with a few reminders.  After exhaustive research, here are a few that I could think up I thought were worth mentioning.

This is the 26th entry into the ArchiTalks series. A monthly blog post by architects of differing backgrounds scattered around the globe all writing about a single subject to see where it takes them.  This months post is all about “Client Advice”.



The one thing as architects we all seem to struggle with.  No matter how hard we plan and prepare, we are always working up to the deadline to try and finish something.  There are times I wish I could remind our clients is that the extra time provided up front, will typically save double that down the road.  How is that on every project as you are getting ready to hit print, you notice something wrong?  It’s usually not a hard problem to solve, but something you know will explain what you are thinking that much better.  Design solutions aren’t typically pulled out of a hat and their inspiration rarely follows a set schedule.  I that with every project deadlines have to be set, but the more realistic they are, the better the project will be.


This ties in very closely with time, and is usually one that is forgotten so easily.  An architectural project is a difficult and taxing endeavor.  No matter how many times you have done it, or how big/small the project is, there are so many things to coordinate it can overwhelm even the best of us.  A good reminder for all of us, would be to be patient and thorough with all of the difficulties that come along.  There is typically a way to work through them.  It may take quite a few conversations and some solutions that might be wildly different than what everyone was originally thinking, but it can be figured out.

An Open Mind

I mentioned above that our clients usually come to us with a very specific request and have some pretty typical expectations.  And while some projects it is more difficult to integrate than others, I always hope that our clients will indulge us with a little extra creativity.  Be open to something that may seem a bit odd at first, but will be the most obvious of solutions later on.  An office building that looks like a huge Lego construction set, hey why not?  A skyscraper with trees on every level, ok…. that’s definitely pushing it.  You get the idea though, a view from somewhere you didn’t expect or a configuration of rooms that works completely differently than what you first imagined;. it might be the best decision on the project.

They are pretty simple I know, but in the hustle and bustle of trying to get projects out the door and to the contractor as quickly as possible, they can easily be forgotten.  I was told a long time ago that architecture is the one profession that clients always come to when they are happy.  They are about to start something completely new in their lives.  With a little help, we can try to make that beginning a little bit more.

To see what everyone else thinks about client advice, check out all of the other ArchiTalks posts below.

Marica McKeel – Studio MM (@ArchitectMM)
ArchiTalks: Advice for Working with an Architect

Jeff Echols – Architect Of The Internet (@Jeff_Echols)
Advice for ALL Clients

Lee Calisti, AIA – Think Architect (@LeeCalisti)
advice to clients

Lora Teagarden – L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
ArchiTalks: Advice for Clients

Collier Ward – One More Story (@BuildingContent)
Trust Your Architect

Eric T. Faulkner – Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
Advice List — From K thru Architect

Michele Grace Hottel – Michele Grace Hottel, Architect (@mghottel)
advice for clients

Eric Wittman – intern[life] (@rico_w)
[tattoos] and [architecture]

Emily Grandstaff-Rice – Emily Grandstaff-Rice FAIA (@egrfaia)
Changing the World

Drew Paul Bell – Drew Paul Bell (@DrewPaulBell)
Advice for Clients

Jeffrey Pelletier – Board & Vellum (@boardandvellum)
Questions to Ask an Architect in an Interview: Advice for Clients

Samantha R. Markham – The Aspiring Architect (@TheAspiringArch)
Dear Client,

Kyu Young Kim – J&K Atelier (@sokokyu)
Advice for Clients

Nisha Kandiah – ArchiDragon (@ArchiDragon)
Advice for clients

Keith Palma – Architect’s Trace (@cogitatedesign)
Advice 4 Building

Gabriela Baierle-Atwood – Gabriela Baierle-Atwood (@gabrielabaierle)
What I wish clients knew


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