22 Jul 2009

Media is the architect’s nemesis

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Mainstream media can be the architect’s nemesis!

Television shows such as Extreme Home Makeover, and Design on a Dime (HGTV) mean well, but they undermine our credibility. Many clients think we can build or remodel entire homes in a weekend and can construct everything for <$2,000 and will design it all for free. That’s a slight exaggeration, but there is a perception that grand things can be designed and built faster and cheaper than realistically possible. The days of the $100/SF house aren’t dead, but even Sarah Susanka (renowned architect responsible for the Not So Big series) may inadvertently mislead homeowners into believing those beautiful, smart, but expensive houses are within their reach. Unfortunately, the cash-strapped clients cannot afford the design or construction detailing expertly illustrated in those conceptually stimulating books. My advice is to dream, but be mindful that speed, design and details require time and money.

About the Author

Your Architect is Eric Faulkner -- an architect licensed in Texas & Oklahoma with 29 years experience in design, construction observation and life.