In August 2015 I attended the AIA Tennessee convention in Knoxville, TN. The theme of this year’s convention was Tennesseeing – meaning how architects and the public view architecture.

Keynote speakers included Peter Gluck, principal of Gluck+, a firm that follows an Architect Led Design Build (ALDB) approach.

During the opening of his presentation, Gluck warned that architects are creating “a path to irrelevance” and partially blamed this on the fact that “American architecture is now designed by lawyers.”

Gluck offered advice to architects to counter this irrelevance:

  • Understand the cost and construction of design – for example, how cut can be resold as fill for another project in order to reduce a potential loss of money
  • The architect’s responsibility is to provide value where it didn’t exist before
  • Rather than creating one set of construction documents, create trade sets for each contractor/subcontractor
  • Provide an info and pricing feedback loop at each stage of design
  • Build intimacy with contractors and product suppliers to manipulate the system for your projects and the projects of others
  • “Partner” with your client
  • Overcome your fears