Phil Bernstein: New Values in Design Practice
It is time for architects to sharpen their pencils and look at the value our practices bring to the new economy as service professionals. Who better to look at the future, than current graduate architecture students and their professional practice professor, Phil Bernstein along with his Harvard Colleague, Brain Kenet, professional practice professor at the GSD.
On the latest post to his blog he gives an overview of his last graduate seminar class entitled “Exploring New Value in Design Practice.” Phil Bernstein and Brian Kenet ask their graduate students to explore the answer to the question, Why isn’t the practice of architecture properly valued, economically of otherwise?
The following is an abstract from their syllabus.
How do we make design a more profitable practice? Design practice has traditionally positioned building as a commodity in the delivery supply chain, valued by clients like other products and services purchased at lowest first cost. Intense market competition, sole focus on differentiation by design quality, and lack of innovation in project delivery models and and business models, has resulted in a profession that is grossly underpaid and marginally profitable, despite the fact the building sector in its entirety operates in large capital pools where significant value is created. The profession must explore new techniques for correlating the real value of an architect’s services to clients and thereby break the downward pressure on design compensation. This seminar will re-imagine and re-design the value proposition of architecture practice, explore strategies used by better compensated adjacent professions and markets, and investigate methods by which architects can deliver–and be paid for– the value they bring to the building industry.