As a designer, engaging with all key stakeholders on a given project—the client; the client’s key decision makers, such as facilities and human resources leadership; and real estate professionals involved with a project—may be viewed either as cumbersome and time consuming or as an opportunity to create better outcomes. Embracing the latter in a strategic way often achieves greater consensus for a project throughout the design process. However, in order to make it meaningful to the participants, the client, and the design team, you have to ask the right questions, distinguish definite needs from wants, and ensure that everyone—not just the one with the loudest voice—has an opportunity to participate in the discussion.
I often struggle with the fact that all talk of technology in architecture and design practice is BIM centric, and focused purely on how we can increase productivity. The result is a response to the question that surrounds most commodity products, “How do we do it quicker, better and cheaper,” which in turn tends to commoditize the primary services we provide.
Initial client meetings often set the stage for the remainder of a project. What are the client’s vision, mission, and goals? What do they hope to accomplish with this project? More importantly, how did they develop the initial program that …