The New Architect
By Michael S. Tomasik
Photo: Mateja Pezdirc
In the past, an architect’s role was pretty well defined: meet with the client, figure out what they want, come up with some ideas, do some drawings and, finally, help them to get the project built. Its no longer that way.
Sophisticated building technology, accelerating business climates, new environmental research,resource scarcity and exciting new visualization and simulation techniques have all combined to create vast new opportunities for architects to have a greater impact on their client’s lives by performing new roles.
BIG PROBLEM SOLVER ROLE
In recent years, architects have learned to take broader views of their clients. The best architects want to learn about their clients business goals, aspirations, fears and challenges. They want to fully understand the opportunities and the risks that their clients face.
Today, we absorb our clients opportunities and challenges in order to produce the best businesssolutions to create the greatest value for them. Sometimes as Big Problem Solvers, we recommend a new building, or a remodeled facility, or sometimes just an internal reorganization of staff.
HEAD ORGANIZER ROLE
As architectural projects have become more complex, architects have developed exceptional leadership and organizational skills. We have become skilled at organizing multi-faceted teams to produce great results in complicated situations under severe time constraints. We had to learn how to lead and organize under these conditions because our own businesses demanded it.
Clients are starting to recognize and appreciate architects for these skills. We are employed at the start of projects to help organize and define business goals. And, sometimes clients ask us to manage and lead groups of people outside of the design process such as financial consultants, builders, movers, real estate agents, advertising firms or public relations companies.
CHIEF VISUALIZER ROLE
Architects have embraced digital 3D visualization and simulation techniques as one of many paths to producing better designs for their clients. As they became more proficient with these tools, they found new ways to offer these services to clients.
From hospital emergency departments to pharmaceutical warehouses, architects can now help clients to see how their facilities will actually function, in real time via digital simulations. They can help builders to find the best construction logistics for their projects or accurately convey construction progress through 3D digital modeling.
Regardless of where clients are in their business improvement processes or their project development, architects, today, are uniquely positioned to offer tremendous value with their innate problem solving, strong organizational and visualization expertise.
Michael Tomasik brings 40 years of experience as an architect, manager, educator, and consultant to his role on Krageljs Advisory Board. He is currently in charge of business development workshops for project team leaders. Contact Michael at email@example.com.