Architecture with Lauren: Changes aren’t just a David Bowie Song

7 Mar

Today I’m going to share some simple truths about Architecture. The stuff they never tell you when you are paying like $35,000 a year to college, and stuff a professor who wears all black, and drinks only Voss water will never comprehend.

♦ Clients are not notes on paper. Unlike the list of requirements they give you in school…they are real people, and they have opinions.

♦ Just like regular people they have the right to change their minds… and they do so very often. And sometimes while they are telling you about changes, they are changing their mind. (Never get rid of old versions of drawings until it is the final project!)

♦ Clients unlike your professors usually don’t wear berets (never met a beret clad client yet).

♦ Most clients do not want you to re-explain parts of projects that they do not like. Re-explaining your reasoning for putting a 3 tiered fountain and skylight in their ladies room will only make them hate you just a little more than they already do… (because we all know you put that fountain there without them asking you to do so).

♦ You should listen to your clients, because they are paying for a space for themselves… unless you are paying, don’t make a space for yourself. See below for more details.

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I work with people who like to change their mind… a lot. Most changes are completely  monetary based, like the amount they are allowed to spend on the project was cut. Or because there are finishes, like super sweet marble floors that they want, and now can’t afford to finish the last 30% of the project:

Now, like clients… designers have feelings too. Yes, we’re not all clickity-clackity-computers over here. But most of the time we understand the client’s need to change things in the project:

Now I have already said never make a space for yourself because you will end up brokenhearted. But, we are just people after-all… and truthfully designers do this all the time. Personally I like to put one thing in each project I think is super special… Because to the designer, that extra detail,  special glass, paint color, or even large expensive couch makes everything that you will take out of the project, okay… That is until the client wants to get rid of that thing… and then this happens:

And then we lock ourselves up in our car and cry whilst listening to Celine Dion’s cover of “All By Myself”… and then eat tons of junk food to make it all better (Don’t tell Richard Simmons).

And that was today’s Architecture lesson. I think I should be a professor, and tell these kids before it’s too late…

♫Lauren

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2 Responses to “Architecture with Lauren: Changes aren’t just a David Bowie Song”

  1. Zen and Genki April 24, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

    Loved loved loved this post (and laughed my arse off too, which makes it even better!)
    Cheers to your obvious flare for client service (and to hopefully, one day if you are very lucky, a client in a good beret)
    anne

    • Viciously Sweet April 25, 2012 at 9:20 am #

      i’m glad you had a giggle! It’s really hard to work for people when everyone has their own visions… and their money can only pay for 15% of that vision :)

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