Studio Two Podcast: Livability of Designer Homes
Studio Two Podcast: Should Architects Sell Floor Plans Online?
The Second Studio (formerly The Midnight Charette) is a candid podcast about design, architecture, and everyday life. Hosted by architects David Lee and Marina Bourderonette, it features different creative professionals in unscripted conversations that allow for thoughtful and personal discussions.
A variety of topics are covered with honesty and humor: some episodes are interviews, while others are tips for fellow designers, reviews of buildings and other projects, or informal explorations of everyday life and design. Studio Two is also available on iTunes, Spotify and YouTube.
This week, David and Marina from FAME Architecture & Design discuss whether or not architects should sell their plans online. The two cover the financial benefits of selling plans, making good floor plans accessible to more people, the downsides of selling partial services, quality concerns, the future of the profession, prioritizing speed and efficiency in design, and why architects are not used more often on projects, And more.
Studio Two Podcast: Livability of Designer Homes
Cons of selling floor plans.
The cons of selling floor plans online is that we are betraying everything we believe in just for the money, not the people. We are handing over responsibility to someone else and have no idea what the building will become. These plans are probably, for the most part, just floor plans, and even if they have elevations, are the elevations relevant to where it will be built? Or is the client purchasing plans to build a Swedish castle in California? Are we contributing to the nonsense of the buildings we see out there by selling blueprints online? Are we contributing to society’s thinking that we don’t need architects, that we just need someone to come up with a good floor plan? Are we contributing to thinking about real estate, housing, and buildings as consumer products and not as things that are passed down over time, preserved, and have different lives?
Pros of selling floor plans.
The pros of selling floor plans online are that most homes won’t be built with architects anyway. They’ll all have a really bad floor plan that some cookie developer came up with. Then people choose tiles for their kitchen and are happy. But after 15 years, they will sell it, and the person who buys it will need to remodel it. It’s a ton of waste. It’s ineffective. No one is happy because the floor plan doesn’t make sense. So why not give them something good to begin with and then they can take it from there? Just give them good bones. As architects, perhaps it should also be part of our responsibility to help people who cannot employ us at full scale.
Problems facing the architectural profession.
The biggest problem facing the architecture and interior design professions is that clients don’t really understand what we do or the value we provide. The sheer volume and diversity of information that we have to deal with for a single project, on any given day, that comes into our heads, through our screens, through our calls, and that we then have to put into the project or manage, is very complex. There is tremendous value in having someone on the project do it for you in a way that produces an artistic result. And my fear is that when we throw away parts of what we produce, which are primarily drawings, let’s say a floor plan for example, even if it’s the best floor plan in the world, it’s devoid of the education that the client would learn if they worked with an architect versus the job. With contractor only. It may sound self-righteous, but I think it’s very important that more people understand what we do because without it, I don’t know how we would prove our value to people.
I think it’s ridiculous that in California, and many other states, you can build a very large house without an architect. This is my mind. You have all these professionals who have completed higher education, who have all this technical and creative knowledge, and for many of them single-family residential projects are their livelihood… and you say there is no need for them. If you look at the maximum size of a home in square feet that can be built without an architect, and what percentage of all single-family homes in California fit into that square footage, it’s probably 90%. The idea that you don’t have to have an architect to produce 90% of homes is crazy. Knowing the amount of information we (architects) have to deal with and the work we have to do…the idea of not having someone with the skill set of an architect in a job is crazy. Without them, who makes all these decisions? The answer is people who have no idea what they are doing. So the issue of poor architecture being built is not just a cultural issue, it is not just an educational issue, it is a (legislative) issue.
Check out previous editions of The Second Studio Podcast.
(Tags for translation)Architecture