Have I wasted seven years qualifying as an architect? Perhaps I should have formed Jonathan Hendry Architectural Consultants at 18? After all, we’re being asked to reduce our fees to compete with non-architects. The public doesn’t seem to understand the difference between an architect and a draughtsman, as nine times out of 10 the selection of a ‘building designer’ is based on money. We reduce our fee and I leave the office feeling slightly disillusioned.
Two days later the agent phones to confirm that we have won the project. My frustration disappears until I realise I now have to deliver a quality building on a smaller budget. But later on that day we are chosen to design a community centre – a selection made on our reputation rather than our fee. It’s reassuring to know that at least one out of 10 clients prefers architects.