Saturday, December 5, 2009

And Now Onto Solutions

(Photo Frank Gehry)'ve created your program of requirements....and it is marked "draft...for discussion purposes only"...but you have begun to connect the left brain to the right brain and...of your thoughts (and feelings) into a text document which at least makes your conversation with your project delivery folks more meaningful.

I'd like to keep this all simple and arm you with some trade can at least act like you know what you are doing along the line of "fake it til you make it".

So...imagine that you have gone directly to an architect...that's a traditional step. You give your draft of your Program of Requirements to him/her (we'll use him but not trying to make any gender distinctions...ok) and he is already sensing he has a more advanced student/client. You ask for some solutions...or some feedback...or both. Assuming the architect sees some potential with you and or the project, then they will perhaps sketch some elevations and floor plans. They may want some limited compensation and of course this depends about the scope....i.e. adding a bedroom to your house or creating a new office building for your 200 person firm.

This phase of design is referred to as the conceptual stage.

From this exercise you will likely learn:

1) Project is not feasible. Time to be thinking about other alternatives (hopefully you have already done so).

2) We're onto something...but can we do it for the dollars we have in our program? Or can we change this or delete that???? Your on the path.

3) Or...slam dunk....this is exactly what I wanted!

(Option 3 is highly unlikely...but it could happen...particularly if you have a lot of money....I've had hmmm about one client like that out of say 500!) Significantly you will also get a good sense if the architect is someone you can work with....but please....don't confuse bed side manners with skills and abilities. do you check skills and abilities...well....get a list of ALL of the projects the architect has been involved in for the past say year. Make the calls. Your time will be well spent.....Ask questions...probe..take notes. You'll be glad you did.

So many people hire architects because they have great people skills and can sketch like a wild creative....(very right brain yes). But please.....we need some serious left brain at the table. If it is not all available in one package....which it probably is not....then wait for the next post and we'll add another leg to the stool.


Skip Lineberg said...

Dave -

What a great post! Loved it.

Also, can I score some perceptual points if I spell the title of my document as follows: "Programme Requirements"?

Dave Pray said...

Skip...oui oui!