Architecture is one of those careers in which professionals have to face a plethora of details and, therefore, a multitude of problems. Some of these problems are due to the nature of the industry itself, some stem from client-facing challenges, and others are linked to things that come earlier on in the chain.
It's also a profession in which you can build your career in many different ways. Like any field, there are a lot of different areas that an architect can specialize in and different ways that they can earn a livelihood.
In recent times, things have become difficult for architects. The economic crash of 2008 sent the property market into a downward spiral and it took builders, developers, repair and maintenance businesses, and architects down with it.
Things have improved a great deal in recent years but they are still not back to what can be classified as stable. These are some of the main challenges that architects face and some solutions that can help remedy the situation.
Just finding clients can be a challenge in this field. Keeping a consistent stream of customers walking into your office is something that not every architect can do. It’s even more challenging for those that are new to the field and don’t have a solid reputation that they can rely on just yet. There are a few different ways that architects can find more work but most are age-old techniques that might not be that effective today.
A good solution is to use the power of the internet and tap into a global, or at least national market, rather than relying on local projects. There are plenty of sites that are specialized marketplaces where architects and customers can find each other. Moreover, architects can also delve into teaching online or making money by publishing free content on platforms that will pay them in return for this effort.
Good Design vs. Cheap Construction
In an industry where customers want construction to be done as quickly as possible and at the lowest cost, it can be hard to shine as a creative individual that focuses on an inspiring design and high-quality construction. Architects, due to the requirements of the market, are often forced to cut corners and compromise on things that are dear to them.
In the process, they sacrifice the profitability of their own business. Fortunately, the developers working on Revit Mep tools recognize this problem and focus on creating solutions that can help architects in this position. While choosing the final materials for construction is not always in the architects' hands, creating the structure of the building and developing the plan that is going to be followed is.
This is where software helps to reduce the workload and also reduce the cost of this otherwise cumbersome process. It wasn’t too long ago that the bulk of an architect's time was spent on the drawing board coming up with new ideas and spending hours making minor tweaks to the plan that required the entire sketch to be changed. Now, all this can be done far more efficiently through the right software and hardware.
Technology can lend a helping hand to the design portion of an architect’s job but there is another difficult process that still needs to be done manually, and that is finding the best materials for the task. Even with the best design on paper, a plan can never reach its full potential if it isn’t materialized with the right components. Not only does an architect need to know exactly which materials will be perfectly suited for the job, but they also need to know how they can source them.
Even with the internet and many businesses now being available online, architects still spend an excruciating amount of time browsing through catalogs, talking to suppliers, and arranging materials for their clients. Rather than hunting for these items through random online searches, architects can put a bit more efficiency into the process by narrowing down their search on specialized marketplaces.
Just as online marketplaces link architects with customers, these product sites can link architects with the right manufacturers, vendors, or suppliers of a product. They can manage payments, track their orders, and do everything else that they need using a single, streamlined platform.
Traditionally, architects will join a bigger firm and learn the business and then move on to acquiring their own projects and hopefully starting their own business. Today, the new architects that are just graduating from college and the senior architects that are hiring them for their businesses are at very different wavelengths.
In the past couple of decades, we have seen the world go through a rapid change in every regard and technology has been a big part of this revolution.
On one end are young architects that are willing to take an extreme approach to their work and on the other hand, are seasoned veterans that advocate the tried and tested techniques they have been using for decades.
It is tough to say what the future holds and which approach will be able to manage future situations, but it is clear that we need a mix of both new creative ideas and old reliable solutions. For many new architects and senior architects, it can be difficult to get on the same page, but the only solution is to work as a team and use the best of both worlds as much as possible.
Architecture as a business and as a career is something that relies heavily on technology for both the technology used in the design room and the technology used on the construction site. With both these things changing at such a rapid pace, it is hard to say what the future of architecture looks like and even hard to understand what the current best solution is for an architect.
This situation makes it important for architects to be fluid in their ways and to have a can-do attitude. Even a little bit of progress in the right direction is better than fearing making a mistake and making no progress at all. It will be challenging but architects need to be open to trying out new things and adopting strategies that they might not be fully knowledgeable about.