Dear What could possibly go wrong?
I just love the ArchiTeam members’ Facebook page, always has helpful comments to the various problems that we all face from time to time. There are some issues though that are not quite so clear cut; like handling difficult clients, getting proper fees, and getting builders and trades to do what they should without an ongoing argument. Is there somewhere specifically for architects to learn about negotiating our way out of these problems or better still how to negotiate to avoid the them in the first place.
Dear ArchiTeam member,
Thank you for your timely question. How to negotiate successfully is a fundamental skill for anyone in our type of business. There are just so many people / relationships that we have to manage on every project. Also, ‘how to negotiate for architects’ will help with our mental health as well as the quality of our work.
However, as I reflect further on your question, as well as negotiating there are a number of other skills that we don’t learn in our architecture course that we must have.
So, I suggest that the broader question could be - What skills don’t we have that we need to have to be successful in the practice of architecture?
Although it is a simple enough question, it opens up a big topic, the answer is extremely important for all of us.
Who should we ask? The best people to answer this are those in practice, like you, either running their own or as an employee. If enough of us answer the question it will allow us to determine what we all think are the actual missing bits. The answer has the potential to set up the profession as a whole for solid successful business practices.
I mentioned your question is timely, this is because Dr. Peter Raisbeck, who teaches the Architecture Practice course at the University of Melbourne, is currently undertaking independent research into the architect’s skill set.
This purpose of the research is to formally identity the gap in the architect’s skills for ‘business management’ (including negotiating) to run projects as well as a practice.
It is expected that the formal research results will settle ongoing debates about what architects in the front line, as a collective, say they need to know to be successful.
Dr Raisbeck, who has written a number of books on the practice of architecture and delivered papers at many international conferences, recently said “ . . . we are at a critical point in time where we may be seeing the extinction of the traditional architect, if we are to survive it will only be through reinventing ourselves with a much broader skills base beyond an architecture degree.”
Dr. Raisbeck has also worked with both the ACA and AACA on other topics undertaking research into the education of the architect
There is a survey that won’t take long and could be the start of your new skill set and career development path. It only takes 7 minutes on average to complete and is completely anonymous.
Here is the short survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FBBTD26
Please pass the survey onto to all the other architects that you know.
And if you would like to read more about it, the blog post is here: https://peterraisbeck.com/2020/05/14/a-surviving-the-design-studio-survey-is-it-time-to-flip-da-switch-and-upskill/
Peter Finn, ArchiTeam past Director.
Disclaimer – ‘What could possibly go wrong?’ is not an advice column, it is only general comment from ArchiTeam who are not aware of your circumstances with any issue that you may have. You cannot rely on these general comments, each member must make their own decisions about any action they should take and seek independent advice of their own if they are unsure.