I wrote this article 2 years ago when was working mostly with private small-scale housing, so tried to make mainly for myself surtain technology or step-by-step efficient guidance.
But pretty sure, that most of conclusions (with certain changes) can be scaled up to big projects, because problematic background of communication of architect and client does not depends on scale that much.
When I started with my first job back at the university, I experienced how many times my bosses had fights with clients because of missunderstanding about «how much should be done». From the one hand, client is waiting to be completely satisfied for the money he pais. From the other hand, architect is waiting from client to follow some moral norms in cooperation and not to re-do and re-do and re-do again, being paid only once.
So. How to make this two fighters finnaly understand each other, to make architect do it right-to-the-target from the first try, otherwise it will be a capture of re-do / waisting of budget / loosing of contract?
Ok, that is a Technical Task (TT). English speakers can also call it «guideline», but I’m not sure it’s the same.
Now breaking news!
Basically, let’s say, how many options should be presented to client in general (on the first stage)? I’m thinking (NOW SHOKING!!!) that only one. Not three and not the whole sketch book. Only one, but right-in-target, super convincing one because of its analytics basement. Once again, it worked for S-scale, worked perfectly. Last several years I am trying to figure out, how to improve technology to make it work for M/L-scales.
My strong opinion that architecture is not a shaman ritual, not a guessing game, but a technology. Follow technology — get the result. Like to complete a car on conveyor, like to learn how to ride a bike, like to draw a regular penta-angle inside the circle. This technology is can be divided into mini-technologies, and each of this mini-ones will have its own step-by-step guidance.
You will say — noooo how about inspiration? How about I will say «this is my genuis concept because at the moment I was thinking on my project I was looking on plate antenna, and how it is correlates to universe that is why I have antenna-looking house symbolising connection to the universe. How deeply-minded am I!» Haha) Or «Crease a paper — what a form, it goes directly from heart» or «Let’s take this sity skyline and put it on the masterplan, to find out its configuration» «Why? Skyline and masterplan are two different planes, they are not working the same way» «Because that is my concept!!!» :)
Okay, architecture as a part of huge building process is a zone of really big investments. Architect is a head of someone’s big investments. Which means (imho) that it should work according to some really objective rules. More objective than «that is my concept!»
Will say I am not creative? Yes, I am, and, btw — personal inspiration or creativity is also a technology:)
Technology of TT
Back to the topic. So, two years ago I was trying to find out that technology — how to make for yourself a correct Technical Task.
What is that? (In case my beloved reader is not architect or engineer)
It is a document with fixed rules, limits and guidelines: what (how/where/how it works) to design.
Some architects, especially those who experienced missunderstanding with a client and never solved it, consider TT as a poll with yes/no questions just to keep themselves safe in case of argue. Like — «Wanna blue or red walls? Blue, ok, sign here, if you will change your mind we will wave this paper in front of your nose!»
TT is not about to catch someone, not about giving off the responsibility. Yes, it is a way to protect architect, but mostly — is a tool of the most efficient collaboration for both sides.
In general, what kind of architect-client collaborations exist:
- Intuitive. Architect is a free artist, creating-discussing-creating-discussing, until gets what he was looking for.
- Dominative. Architect is working with only those clients who share his views.
- Analytical. Architect creates a system to find out client’s needs. And making all the work to get into client’s head BEFORE draws his first line.
All three can be. Whatever people like. But the first two are dangerous because the client may not like the result. Moreover — in the first case with time waisting.
So I focused on creating step-by-step guidance for myself to make an analytical collaboration.
The client never makes TT himself. For S-scales this will be done by architect, for M/L — by the whole army of people (marketologist, finansist, sociologist, geographist..architect).
Incorrect TT is like if to put the ladder to the wall, to climbe on it, but then oh no, that was a wrong wall! So that is why, when architect is trying to put ladders to all the possible walls — it can be, but how long is that?
Sure nobody cancelled creative searching (it always has to be), but it it the same technology as in Math. The root can be guessed, but it works only if proved that it is the only possible one.
For S-scale it is only two types of tags. Objective (all that can be measured or yes/no indicated) and subjective (that are like/don’t like kind of thing). For M/L I guess the same two, but objective ones plays bigger role, since big projects are more invsting then personal. Imho, even when investing client is strongly focused on subjective tags, switching him to objectives will make architect look more convincing and makes bigger chances to get the contract, then too much reference-playing.
- Client: I want my building to show how cool and powerful I am (subjective). Architect: You want to make your brand more recognizable, to improve public loyality to brand or your personality (objective).
- Client: I want my building to look rich (subjective). Architect: You want people to come, feel luxury and spend money here (objective). Mental tags that target group of people count luxury, mental tags to make them spend blabla. (objective)
To end the article:
It is not gonna be any ending phrase since I will for sure continue sometime:)