Whats the difference between a Doctor and an Architect?

These few months of doing freelance have taught me precious lessons in life and business. For one I learnt about the ins and outs of the cost of materials and how 'dirty' the renovation business can become, if you lose your sense of integrity and ethics.

The sad thing is that some clients do not realize how much I am always fighting with contractors constantly for the client's interests, so that they can get the best value for their budget.

The other thing that I have encountered many times is the situation where the client thinks they know better than the Architect. I observed that these are normally relatively successful people in their own rights, be it very educated or very rich. They think they have great taste and they think they know what they want. Let me give a comparison. When you see a doctor, do you tell the doctor that his diagnosis is wrong and yours is right? Architects, like doctors and lawyers are professionals whose professional ethics are legally regulated by Board of Architects. Doesnt the word 'professional' means that this person's advice is worth listening to?

I suppose the real reason is that these people do not see the value of design, unlike medical illnesses where you can feel the effects of the medication taking place and recovery takes place. People do not see the immediate value of design and that brings to another question whether Singaporeans are matured enough to appreciate design. I have clients who ask me for opinions, I make recomendations and they come up with thier own design. And then if I keep quiet, they will say that I am the designer and I should be telling them what to do. I have clients who already know what material they want, but still asks me for opinions, I choose the other material, but somehow they give reasons to still come back to the material that they like, and not what is suitable for the house.

In the end, the finished product is a laughing stock and I am not the one using it.

I suspect this has something to do with the 'Arrogant Singaporean Syndrome' (ASS), where they think they know it all.


totoro said…
I admit I sometimes fall into this trap too... After so many (little) years in design, I realised my basic function is to advise the clients. It is their decision to accept my reccomendations, which I have no control over. As long as I have wholeheartedly done all that I can for them, including explaining why certain things done in certain ways may be better for a given situation and presenting them with valid facts/opinions, they usually listen. It helps to understand why they arrived at their choice and decision in the first place... Don't give up and don't be disheartened. It all boils down to communication. Work your charm!
Victor said…
Hi Soul, I found your blog through a search in technorati.com for blogs that linked me. Interesting articles you have here. Will be returning... every other day. :)

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