At the end of 2017, the New Zealand Institute of Architects published a booklet called ‘10 myths about architects’. We think it has some great information about what architects like us actually do and how we might help you. Here’s a link to download the full booklet.
Myth 1: If you provide architectural services, you can call yourself an architect
Some companies and designers might offer “architectural services”, but it doesn’t mean they are architects. To call yourself an architect you must be registered by the New Zealand Registered Architect Board, which sets and regulates professional standards to ensure that consumers are getting the best service. Registration is rigorous, requiring candidates to have completed a five-year architecture degree, several years of work experience, and an exam. If you’re working with an architect, you know you’ll be working with trusted and proven experience.
Myth 2: Architects just design new buildings
Architects design lots of new buildings, like schools, houses, office blocks, apartments, and malls. However, a lot of an architect’s work is about changing existing buildings too, like designing house renovations or new additions. Architects often enjoy the challenge of recreating spaces to meet their clients’ needs and budget while making sure the space is well-designed and up-to-code.
Myth 3: Architects only design big projects
There are loads of small projects that form the bread and butter of an architect’s daily work. An architect can be asked to design a new bathroom, a sleep-out, or re-model a small office. An architect will bring the same care and processes to a small project as they will to a larger one. Architects get excited about design challenges, and the rewards are the same whether the project is big or small.
Myth 4: Architects cost more than I can afford.
Consulting with a less-qualified designer might save you some pennies, but they won’t have the same rigorous and specialised skills that an architect has. Architects add significant value for the money they cost, ensuring that your project is code compliant and expertly designed to suit your needs. Architects are expected to be transparent and up-front about costs with their clients, so you’ll have a really good indication of the value an architect can add to your project from the get-go.
Myth 5: Architects just care about how the building looks
Architects know that their buildings are publicly visible, represent a significant investment, and will be around for a long time, so they want them to look good! However, architects also know that a building’s function is just as important as its design. An architect will work hard to make sure that the building works for the people who use it, and that it’s an enjoyable, healthy, and useful place to be in.