Posted by Paul Malo on September 17, 2002 at 18:12:33:
In Reply to: Re: Practicing Architecture in a collaborative environment posted by Chris on September 17, 2002 at 16:24:08:
Yes, anything is possible. Probable? It's a matter of priorities. To do everything well is ideal, but may be costly--to the client and to the firm. Naturally, we all like to think we do all of these things extremely well. In practice, however, firms do tend to gravitate to certain modes.
No one has mentioned the fact that most of the celebrity architects today associate with other firms to get the construction documents produced and the building built. Many of these famous names are, in truth, merely designers as part of a far larger team of architects.
When the designer is the prime client contact, the arrangment is different from another, where the designer may be an employee--the bosses being too busy with client relations to be much involved with design on a regular basis.
We like to think of the architect first of all as the designer who heads the team. In practice this often is not the case. One of my colleagues recalled how thrilled he was, shortly out of school, to be appointed "Chief Designer" for a fairly large firm. He soon realized why he got the job. He couldn't do anything else more useful than "design." Needless to say, this was not the sort of practice where the designer was "autocratic," as Steve has recently observed. As you may imagine, the work of the firm was not particularly distinguished.
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