Cost. What a hot topic. Nowadays, there are so much that depends on it. But, before we get too philosophical about the pros and cons of money, let’s focus on the design-side of life.
Unfortunately good design comes at a (relative) price. Designers (and with this I mean architects, industrial designers and even engineers) study long and hard to acquire the necessary skills to create projects that work, look pleasing and provide overall enjoyment and functionality to a client. There are many things that we consider during a design process (of which I will teach more through these blogs) – form, function, structure, context, client, budget, time… All this makes any design very complex, causing the process to take lots of thinking and (mostly) lots of time. The skill to combine all these elements into a single project is what designers charge some fee for.
Yet, not everybody can afford it. There are certain projects where we can cut our fees (for example projects with a community-element, like a rural school), but (mostly) this is a very tricky thing to do – time can’t be increased or bought. Yet you can see the difference design makes when looking at almost any object: a Lamborghini costs more than a Volkswagen because of (1) materials, technology, amount of units to be built, etc., but also because of (2) design – the automotive engineers and designers at Lamborghini spend a lot more time on the design of each model, tweaking every component or corner. Some wristwatches are hand-made, some by robots. Some products take years to develop, some are pushed from computer to production in a month. All this influences the quality of the product, the quality of the design.
And yes, some designers are over-priced. Some are even under-priced. And yes, everybody does deserve some form of good design in their lives.
So, and please keep going with me in this long-ish blog, with all of the above in mind…
We are providing all our clients with a new variation on our fees. We hope that this option will make good design available to more people.
HalfStudio is a new product where we do the whole design up to and including sketch plans for a 44% discount on our normal price. That’s almost half-price. We will provide you with all design drawings, including a 3D-Revit file, which can easily be used by any other architect to complete the Council approval and working drawings, at their (cheaper) rate for that part of the project. And this is for any type of building – we’ll even guide you with what the further steps should be depending on what City Councils require (and thus what type of other architect would be best to work with further).
We are doing this because design is important. Council and working drawings are a relatively mechanical process, but not everyone can do good design or fit spaces (or housing units) properly onto a site. So, for 56% of our normal fee, we will design what you want and the rest is up to you.
Tell everyone you know, someone might be in need of design-help, and let’s make good design affordable.