DesignIntelligence has published a new article by Scott Simpson, FAIA. “What Have We Learned?” is well-written and lays out some of the problems in the profession of architecture right now. http://www.di.net/articles/what-have-we-learned/
The article mentions that most owners find architects’ construction documents inadequate.
I just posted the following comment on the article. It’s not showing up yet. It might soon, it might never. I feel strongly about this, so I am sharing it here.
The article states that “…92 percent of owners do not believe that architects’ construction documents are suitable for the purpose intended.”
How can attempts “to prove that ‘good design is good business'” possibly solve this problem? Will SOMEONE ELSE fulfill the task of producing adequate construction documents while architects busy themselves with “becoming conversant” in “good business” and making up new “value propositions” to offer to potential clients?
Adequate information with which to construct buildings will still be necessary, whether it’s in digital form or on paper. Someone needs to produce this information. For hundreds of years, architects have been the people doing this. This is what architects are licensed to do. It still needs to be done.
Encouraging architects in different directions, without addressing how this need for adequate construction documents is to be fulfilled, is silly.
Bad behavior in toddlers is best addressed by redirection (“Don’t pull the flowers off the bush; here’s a ball instead!”) Redirection is NOT the appropriate remedy for inadequate performance of NECESSARY duties.
Architects ought to be producing good construction documents. I believe that this is our primary obligation under the terms of our licensure. If we don’t, who will?
The Construction Specifications Institute can help. Have you seen the new CSI logo? The new tagline is “Building Knowledge. Improving Project Delivery.” Good construction documents are achievable, but you can’t produce them unless you understand building technology and the principles of construction documentation. If you want to start building your own knowledge about how to produce good construction documents, check out CSI. http://www.csinet.org
New directions for architects may be necessary. But basic obligations of architects are not being fulfilled. We must master the basics before we can move in new directions.