The traditional market forces of the economy have always been a source of tension for architects droom. Their profession has been a constant struggle between artistic expression and commercial practice.
* In the past, this split between market forces & artistic endeavour was highlighted by not competing on prices: with profession-wide set fee scales. The fees architects can charge are no longer limited. They now compete based on performance and added-value services.
* The architect’s status comes with responsibility. As professionals, they have always been respected for being able to put clients’ needs before their own. It is illustrated by the fact that architects’ fees are determined as a percent of the project value. The architect understands that they have a social responsibility to create buildings not only for their client, but for all their users.
* Architects are responsible for limiting any impact to the amenity of a neighbor or passerby. These aims must be achieved (and balanced with personal convictions), through conversations with others. An architect has to be an excellent listener when it comes to public consultations. They must then be able interpret other people’s needs and be a persuasive speaker and negotiator to convince others of the merits a plan.
* The relationship that architects have with clients often extends beyond the professional. They must be close friends with them. Over half of the jobs in Britain come from repeat clients.
* Architects should be able negotiate well with their clients in order to sell the work they do and to explain its merits.
* Architects are no longer just designers – they have to be excellent managers in order to succeed. Many clients are highly efficient business organizations and they expect that their architect will be the same.