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The importance of getting your project brief right.

A good architect won’t dive straight in to your design.

Not all architects are created equal. Design is what we love to do, but there’s often a perception that architects “Just Design It.” Therefore there’s often an eagerness from clients to skip the briefing stage in favour of some nice sketches or fancy visuals for them to get excited about. 

But designing without an understanding of the constraints your dealt isn’t design, it’s just drawing and isn’t likely to give you the best possible outcome. A good briefing process will confirm your project’s aspirations and check whether these are achievable with the constraints you have.

You might wonder why the design hasn’t been nailed at the first attempt and you may feel underwhelmed at times. However, Its’s important to remember that this will rarely happen and the brief might need to change following this process. Your project might not even be achievable and needs to stop. But that’s ok. 

Be wary of working with an architect who jumps into the design without an understanding of you, your budget and the other constraints which impact your project. You’re likely not getting value for money. 

Looking for an Architect?

Make sure you read our top tips on out how to get the most from your architect.

  • Your Architect should start by developing a thorough understanding of you, your site and your brief. It’s only through this process that they can identify your biggest risks. And it’s only by identifying them that they can help you to manage these properly. 
  • You often need the help of others to do this. Assembling the best possible project team as early as possible will massively improve your chances of success.
  • Budgeting spreadsheets, desktop studies and strategy diagrams aren’t the most exciting part of the design process but they’re essential to its success.

A good briefing process should set the strategy for the project. If you get the briefing process wrong then the whole project can fall flat on its face before you’re finished

Common mistakes that are made during the preparation and briefing stage.

  1. Feasibility studies undertaken at stage 1 are often seen as the start of the design process.
  2. The briefing process is often rushed to allow stage 2 to commence earlier.

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