Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. As with any service provider, chemistry and their ability to listen should be the first order of business. Experience and creativity come next. Have they worked on a project similar to what you are contemplating? What was the challenge and how well did they achieve the clients objectives? Can they work within your budget and time frame?
Q. What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?
A. Are they licensed to practice Architecture in the state of Massachusetts? How much experience do they have on your building type? What is their current work load and when could they start work on your project? What is their fee structure? How involved will they be during the construction process? What will your involvement be and how much of your time will be required?
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. Assuming a residential building type, I always council my clients to come prepared with books and magazine tear sheets to discuss their ideas. This is really a visual endeavor and pictures help the communication flow more readily. I've had some clients with whole scrapbooks of dreams and ideas they wish to incorporate into their homes and this was found immensely helpful.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. I am lucky to be working at something I'm good at and makes a positive difference in the lives of my clients. Architects are by nature planners, and being brought into a family to assist in their future is a privilege. The fact that my work may impact future generations is a humbling thought. But the single most exciting part is watching the design come to life in the field!
Q. Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?
A. To maintain my Architectural registration I am required to take a minimum of 12 continuing education unit per year. To maintain my American Institute of Architect membership I am required to take a minimum of 18 continuing education unit per year. To maintain my LEED credintials I am required to take a minimum of 15 continuing education unit per year.
Technology has been advancing at an exponential pace and enviromental consciousness is of great concern to all of us. I am thankful for these organizations which keep the profession abreast of the latest thinking in these areas.
Q. If you were advising someone who wanted to get into your profession, what would you suggest?
A. I would start with the words of poet/philospher, Robert Campbell where he admonishes us to, "follow your bliss". Pursue something you are passionate about. The phrase "10% inspiration and 90% perspiration" was surely written for this profession. Architects spend countless hours practicing their craft which can take a toll on their personal lives. Work hard / play hard. Balance is key.