Coffee Talks

Times of change, Design is changing

The way we do Design as changed. There aren’t just out there Design companies, Architecture small offices, Architecture companies with a larger staff, Design Studios or Creative Studios. I’ve been assisting for a whole new game. Many companies related to real estate, project management, investments and developers who just recognized the importance to run a Design department attached to their companies. That way it becomes cheaper, so they don’t have to hire an external Architecture office, with all the expenses that can bring, simply they just have to hire the most skilled designers, architects and engineers and that department is ready to go.

Basically, companies realized the huge importance to acquire “In House Designers” to add value to their business. It’s a strange phenomenon from the point of view that initially, Studios and Offices had to gladiate between them to have more clients. Now it’s a completely different game, Offices and Studios have to compete against giant Corporates to have a certain type of client. For example, in Lisbon, we assist more and more to retail clients falling into the leap of these larger companies. Companies that provide full service. That full service has a name, Turnkey, Design and Build. Which means, they just have to meet with the client to become acknowledge of his needs and from there onwards, they are able to offer everything from start to finish.

So, what I see here is a high level of unconcern about the process. The only interest is to get things done. Aren’t the Offices, Studios or bigger Architecture companies able to do exactly the same? Sure they are! Is that Stupid sense of awareness that a company is more suited to accomplish certain types of jobs than a normal Office or Studio. Most of times, is Laziness. Retail Clients perceives the search for an ideal spot, search for an Architect and search for a company to Build, a waste of energy, so they prefer to put every egg on same basket and let the same company lead every process. That’s something I don’t understand. It is as if the Offices/ Studios were unresponsive to such customers and somehow were amateurs.

Living times of role subversion here. We have to accept changes and must adapt for required changes over time. But is this positive for the profession itself? Bigger companies little by little are taking away certain types of customers just because the power they own to sell and Marketing convenience.  It’s all about convenience. Some Brand companies don’t want to care about the hassle involved in a new project. If someone can do for themselves, Nice! They have a lot to carry on, instead of worrying with secondary matters.  I will insist and ask, is this positive for the professionals out there? Is this positive for young professionals out there?
How can this translates into a positive transformation for those who runs smaller offices?

With huge concern I see some clients to be pushed away from considered smaller studios, that’s something to start to worry about. Even the way that Design process is being perceived from the beginning, is changing.  These power houses with the ability to relocate Brands, take care of design process from scratch to finish, are here to stay. What impact will they cause, only time can say and show. With less than two years things changed dramatically.

Time is showing new winds will be blown.   
Design process itself is being perceived in a totally new way.   

image credits © nd3000                                                                                            

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Hello i'm a Lisbon based Architect, interested in creative content, currently dedicated to build up my Architecture Studio.

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